A new Advanced Composite Manufacturing Institute, set to launch in 2014, will receive up to $70 million over five years in funding from the Department of Energy. The Institute is one of six National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes set to launch this year. The vision for the Advanced Composite Manufacturing Institute is to revitalize American manufacturing and support domestic manufacturing competitiveness. The Institute will focus on low cost, energy efficient manufacturing of advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, at the production speed, cost and performance needed for widespread use in clean energy products including fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, wind turbines and hydrogen and natural gas storage tanks. The Institute’s primary focus will be on continuous or discontinuous carbon and glass fiber composites; these composite materials are based on thermoset or thermoplastic resins with superior strength and stiffness-to-weight ratios relative to other materials. These composites are foundational technologies that are broadly applicable and commonly found in multiple industries and markets. They directly support clean energy and industrial applications and can help reach national energy goals.

The Institute will share a common infrastructure that makes equipment and resources accessible to external parties that would otherwise be cost prohibitive, particularly for small and medium‐sized enterprises. Work conducted at the Institute’s shared facilities will reduce technical risks and support the development of a business case that justifies subsequent private investment. This structure will further encourage public‐private shared RD&D infrastructure devoted to advanced manufacturing.

Proposals for this Institute are due on April 22, 2014. Read the entire Funding Opportunity Announcement here.