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Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation and partners win $1 million NSF Engines Development Award

Project will advance additive manufacturing technology


The Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC), along with higher education, corporate and nonprofit partners, has been awarded a $1 million NSF Engines Development award from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships to advance additive manufacturing practices throughout Kentucky and surrounding regions. The KSTC-led project, NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing Manufacturing and Building Construction Technologies (NSF AMT), will receive funding through the NSF Regional Innovation Engines program authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. 


“I was proud to help KSTC secure today’s federal award and to contact the NSF Director in support of their application. KSTC plays an important role in bridging the gap between Kentucky’s business leaders and the science community, promoting the resilience of our supply chains and sharpening our competitive edge,” said U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. “When Kentucky’s businesses are able to leverage groundbreaking innovations from our leading institutions, like the University of Louisville, our entire economy stands to gain.”


The NSF Engines Development award provides $1 million over two years for planning to help partners create economic, societal and technological opportunities for their regions, setting them up to compete for an NSF Engine award of up to $160 million – the largest award ever offered by the NSF.


“By focusing on advancing sustainable additive manufacturing technologies, this project has the potential to support expansion and attract companies and additional high-wage, high-skilled jobs for our commonwealth,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “These kinds of initiatives add to the remarkable strides being made by Kentucky’s entrepreneurs, companies and colleges and universities toward building our state’s future economy. Congratulations to the AMT team for securing this award and both demonstrating and improving Kentucky’s competitiveness and capacity for research and innovation.”


The NSF AMT project was previously recognized as one of 16 finalists from 188 national applications for an NSF Engines award. The NSF AMT team was invited to pursue an NSF Engines Development award based on the merits of the initial Type-2 application, and the award will be used by KSTC and funded partners University of Louisville (UofL) and the Kentucky Career and Technical College System to strengthen partnerships and proposed models in order to secure future NSF Engines funding.

 

“We are eager to continue the work and build upon the partnerships we developed as part of our initial NSF Engines proposal through this award,” said KSTC President and project lead Terry Samuel. “It is a testament to the importance and potential of both our region and additive manufacturing technologies.”

 

NSF AMT’s goal is to streamline and advance additive manufacturing technologies to revolutionize manufacturing practices. Additive manufacturing can reduce part lead times, material costs, energy usage and waste, and is a key technology for aerospace and semiconductor manufacturing. The project will establish a new technology cluster that is industry-led and fueled by university research partners such as UofL. Together with local and state government, NSF AMT will form a new vision for public-private partnerships.

 

“The innovative research we produce at the University of Louisville becomes most meaningful when applied to advancements that improve our community,” said UofL President Kim Schatzel. “We’re proud to continue working with our partners to translate our additive manufacturing knowledge into solutions that revolutionize the way we manufacture everything from medication to computer chips.”

 

Planning and development through this award will include strengthening existing partnerships and establishing pathways for research and development, translation to practice, and workforce development with a goal of submitting an NSF Engines proposal within the next two years.

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