NSF News

NSF grows future U.S. manufacturing technologies and jobs

Manufacturing underpins U.S. economic prosperity, security and employment. The White House today published the U.S. National Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing, with the U.S. National Science Foundation playing a critical role.

NSF strategically invests at the forefront of advanced manufacturing research and in the future manufacturing workforce. These investments -- supporting fundamental research and translational research that engages students, research infrastructure, STEM education and hands-on training -- are designed to keep the U.S. competitive.

"Decades of NSF investments are today's biggest manufacturing game-changers, like computer-aided design and 3-D printing. NSF continues to invest in expanding the frontiers of manufacturing and to shore up U.S. economic competitiveness and America's industrial future," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "NSF investments in manufacturing will create jobs and diverse pathways and revitalize communities so that innovation can happen anywhere, and opportunities everywhere in the U.S."

NSF's strategic investments in manufacturing will advance major industries from semiconductor manufacturing to construction to healthcare while increasing environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

Through its Future Manufacturing program alone, NSF invested over $30 million in 21 projects, involving 100 institutions in 20 states, to enable manufacturing capabilities that do not exist today. The new projects focus on three areas:

  • Biomanufacturing research that harnesses biology and/or integrates biological materials in manufacturing;
  • Cyber manufacturing research that transforms the predictability, security, reliability and efficiency of manufacturing;
  • Eco manufacturing research that redesigns entire manufacturing lifecycles and supply chains for sustainability.

This brings NSF's total investment in future manufacturing research and education to over $100 million in the three years of the program.

In addition, NSF initiated a new partnership with the Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (DOE BETO) to expand access to the Design-Build-Test-Learn capabilities of the DOE BETO-funded Agile BioFoundry (ABF). NSF's investment of over $4.5 million was complemented by a similar DOE investment in ABF performers, who will conduct joint research in synthetic and engineering biology to translate advances into processes and products that impact the U.S. bioeconomy.

In Fiscal Year 2023, NSF plans new investments for advancing quantum and semiconductor manufacturing, growing the semiconductor workforce, and providing access to facilities for scaling new manufacturing methods and translating them into practice.

Each year, manufacturers across the U.S., in association with the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute, and federal agency partners, host Manufacturing Day events throughout the month of October. The events showcase modern manufacturing careers and encourage companies and institutions to engage with students, parents, educators and community leaders to promote highly skilled and technical roles in manufacturing. The investments highlighted above are examples of how NSF supports advanced manufacturing throughout the year.