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Future Manufacturing (FM)

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NSF 24-525

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research and education to overcome barriers and enable new manufacturing capabilities. Focuses on cybermanufacturing, eco-manufacturing and biomanufacturing.

Supports research and education to overcome barriers and enable new manufacturing capabilities. Focuses on cybermanufacturing, eco-manufacturing and biomanufacturing.


The goal of Future Manufacturing is to support fundamental research, education, and training of a future workforce to overcome scientific, technological, educational, economic, and social barriers in order to catalyze new manufacturing capabilities that do not exist today. Future Manufacturing seeks inventive approaches to invigorate the manufacturing ecosystem and seed nascent future industries that can only be imagined today. Future Manufacturing supports research and education that will enhance U.S. leadership in manufacturing by providing new capabilities for companies and entrepreneurs, by improving our health, quality of life, and national security, by expanding job opportunities to a diverse STEM workforce, and by reducing adverse impacts of manufacturing on the environment. At the same time, Future Manufacturing enables new manufacturing that will address urgent social challenges arising from climate change, global pandemics and health disparities, social and economic divides, infrastructure deficits of marginalized populations and communities, and environmental sustainability. Future Manufacturing will complement existing efforts, supported by NSF and other federal agencies, in advanced manufacturing, but the focus of this program is to enable new, potentially transformative, manufacturing capabilities rather than to improve current manufacturing. Proposals that are incremental improvements over existing advanced manufacturing technologies will not be competitive.

The 2022 National Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing (NSAM) shows how advances in U.S. manufacturing enable the economy to continuously grow as new technologies and innovations increase productivity, enable next-generation products, support our capability to address the climate crisis, and create new, high-quality, and higher-paying jobs. It highlights the need to enhance environmental sustainability and address climate change through objectives that include decarbonization of processes and sustainable manufacturing and recycling. The CHIPS and Science Act supports research and education in semiconductor and microelectronics manufacturing and in other areas ranging from additive manufacturing to artificial intelligence. The recent Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy aims to expand domestic biomanufacturing capacity for products spanning the health, energy, agriculture, and industrial sectors.

Manufacturing in the future will rely on computation to ensure the reliable translation of product designs to manufacturing plans; process controls to assure those plans produce products that meet specifications; new materials, chemicals, devices, processes, machines, and design and work methods; systems that encompass people, processes, equipment, materials, and information within a production environment; and new social structures and business practices. Fundamental research to overcome significant barriers will be required in quantum and semiconductor devices and integrated systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, sustainable chemistry and production, materials science, education and public policy, and workforce development.

Three thrust areas have been identified for support under this solicitation:

Future Cyber Manufacturing Research,

Future Eco Manufacturing Research, and

Future Biomanufacturing Research.

This solicitation seeks proposals to perform fundamental research to enable new manufacturing capabilities in one or more of these thrust areas.

This solicitation will support the following two award tracks:

Future Manufacturing Research Grants (FMRG) - up to $3,000,000 for up to four years; and

Future Manufacturing Seed Grants (FMSG) - up to $500,000 for up to two years.

Proposals should take a convergence approach that involves cross-disciplinary partnerships among engineers, scientists, mathematicians, social and behavioral scientists, STEM education researchers, and experts in arts and humanities. Team sizes should be commensurate with the scope of the plans for science, technology, innovation, and education and workforce development.  

Proposals that include significant participation from minority-serving institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, community colleges, institutions from EPSCoR states, and/or incorporate expertise in improving diversity and inclusion are especially encouraged.

The goal of this solicitation is to enable new manufacturing that represents a significant change from current practice. Therefore, proposers responding to this solicitation must include within the Project Description a section titled Enabling Future Manufacturing. Please see "Proposal Preparation Instructions" for additional details.

Realization of the benefits of the fundamental research supported under this solicitation will require the simultaneous education of a skilled technical workforce that can transition new discoveries into U.S. manufacturing companies. The National Science Board emphasizes this perspective in its report, "THE SKILLED TECHNICAL WORKFORCE: Crafting America's Science and Engineering Enterprise." Therefore, proposers responding to this solicitation must include a plan to equip students and upskill the workforce to enable Future Manufacturing. Please see "Proposal Preparation Instructions" for additional details.

The results of Future Manufacturing could change how workers interact with technology. Investigators may choose to address challenges in this area by including an optional component of research which focuses on future workers and their interactions with the new technology. Please see "Proposal Preparation Instructions" for specifics.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Informational webinars will be held on February 2, 2024 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST and November 15, 2024 from 1:00-2:00 PM to discuss the Future Manufacturing program and answer questions about this solicitation. Details about how to join a webinar will be posted at https://new.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/future-manufacturing-fm. A recording and transcript will be posted there soon after the webinar is held.



Program contacts

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to futuremanufacturing@nsf.gov.

Andrew Wells
Program Director
awells@nsf.gov (703) 292-7225 ENG/CMMI
William Olbricht
Program Director
wolbrich@nsf.gov (703) 292-4842 ENG/CBET
Jordan Berg
Program Director
jberg@nsf.gov (703) 292-5365 ENG/CMMI
Jose Colom-Ustariz
Program Director
jcolom@nsf.gov (703) 292-7088 OD/OIA
Karen Crosby
Program Director
kcrosby@nsf.gov (703) 292-2124 EDU/DUE
Dana Denick
Program Director
ddenick@nsf.gov (703) 292-8866 ENG/EEC
Bianca Garner
Program Director
bgarner@nsf.gov (703) 292-2100 BIO/MCB
Yulia Gel
Program Director
ygel@nsf.gov (703) 292-7888 MPS/DMS
Bruce Kramer
Program Director, Senior Advisor
bkramer@nsf.gov (703) 292-5348 ENG/CMMI
Rosa (Ale) Lukaszew
Program Director
rlukasze@nsf.gov (703) 292-8103 ENG/ECCS
Debasis Majumdar
Program Director
dmajumda@nsf.gov (703) 292-4709 MPS/DMR
Robert McCabe
Program Director
rmccabe@nsf.gov (703) 292-4826 ENG/CBET
Alexandra Medina-Borja
Program Director
amedinab@nsf.gov (703) 292-7557 ENG/CMMI
Elizabeth Mirowski
Program Director
emirowsk@nsf.gov (703) 292-2936 TIP/TI
Erik Pierstorff
Program Director
epiersto@nsf.gov (703) 292-2165 TIP/TI
Carole Read
Program Director
cread@nsf.gov (703) 292-2418 ENG/CBET
George Richter-Addo
Program Director
grichter@nsf.gov (703) 292-7528 MPS/CHE
Sirin Tekinay
Program Director
stekinay@nsf.gov (703) 292-5370 OD/OISE
Ralph Wachter
Program Director
rwachter@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Lee Walker
Program Director
lwalker@nsf.gov (703) 292-7174 SBE/SES

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