About the DoD Manufacturing Innovation Institutes
Over the past century, U.S. national and economic security have relied on a robust American industrial base armed with the advanced manufacturing technologies needed to rapidly and affordably deliver critical products and systems.  Today, our country faces new challenges impacting our daily lives at home, not only from great powers and regional adversaries, but also from infectious disease and cyberattacks.  Despite unprecedented threats, we face unmatched opportunity.

America must lean forward to achieve the manufacturing capabilities needed to build back our economic foundations and modernize our military.  An innovative industrial base can only be accomplished through nation-wide collaboration that fosters healthy, competitive technology ecosystems.  That’s where the Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (DoD MIIs) come in…  
DoD MII LogoThe DoD MIIs seek to revitalize the U.S.’s domestic manufacturing capability through domestic public-private partnerships that enhance America’s strategic competitiveness while enabling the military of tomorrow.  This is achieved through three primary activities hosted by the institutes:
  1. Advancing research and development (R&D) to promote American innovation while modernizing our military capabilities
  2. Growing manufacturing ecosystems to enhance the Nation’s competitiveness
  3. Furthering education and workforce development to train Americans of all ages and backgrounds for jobs of the future

The ability of the military to respond to an emergency depends on our Nation’s ability to produce needed parts and systems, healthy and secure supply chains, and a skilled U.S. workforce.
The DoD MIIs connect organizations and activities to better enable the affordable, rapid transition and delivery of defense-essential technologies. 
Check out our Engagement Guides for more information on how you can get involved with the DoD MIIs.

View a message from Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu on the DoD MIIs.

Manufacturing USA: De-Risking Tech Startups

While the U.S. leads the world in innovation and R&D spending, many discoveries are stranded in labs or scaled-up overseas as companies struggle to invest in domestic development and production since lower cost options exist elsewhere. To increase the number of domestic technologies translated to commercial products, Manufacturing USA institutes help bridge what’s called the innovation “valley of death.”  Institutes nurture startups across the innovation valley of death by accelerating and de-risking their technology development through a variety of uniquely created offerings. Watch to learn how Endeavor Composites, Intabio, Inc., Gray Matter Robotics, ThinkIQ, and SiPhox Health have taken leap-ahead technologies through research, design, prototyping, and commercial production with support from the institutes and their innovation ecosystems.
Video by Courtesy
Forging Freedom - Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program
DoD Manufacturing Technology Program
Aug. 7, 2023 | 1:03
Forging Freedom - Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program
United States manufacturing and innovation are essential to American economic and national security. Maintaining U.S. influence and access to markets in a stable global environment contributes to our prosperity and standard of living. It is the responsibility of the Department of Defense (DoD) to innovate and equip our forces with the best tools possible, made by Americans. The DoD Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) enterprise attempts to utilize advanced manufacturing to secure a more lethal force, strengthen alliances and new partnerships, and reform the Department for greater performance and affordability.
The mission of the program is to reduce the acquisition and supportability costs of defense weapon systems and reduce manufacturing and repair cycle times across the life cycles of such systems.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD ManTech) sponsors nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes with headquarters and hubs across the country.  Each institute is a public-private partnership designed to overcome the challenges faced by American manufacturing innovators in a variety of technology areas.  While each institute operates in its own unique ecosystem, the institutes offer common capabilities that:
  • Provide access to state-of-the-art tools and equipment that are otherwise beyond the reach of most businesses
  • Implement targeted education and workforce development training programs
  • Encourage project investments in applied research & industrially-relevant manufacturing technologies  
The projects and programs of the DoD MIIs are game-changing catalysts that serve as a connective tissue uniting innovative industrial ecosystems with emerging technology and market sectors in the United States.  Convening this network of visionaries enables DoD to connect with the ecosystem needed to bring new technologies to U.S. warfighters.  DoD's strategic commitment of $954 million has resulted in ~$2 billion of committed non-federal cost share and over $1.2 billion of committed federal project work. Projects and collaboration opportunities are made available to the institutes' 2,000+ member organizations from across the defense industry, commercial manufacturers of all sizes, start-ups, universities, community colleges, and state and local economic developers in active partnership with the United States federal government.
The development of a vibrant domestic manufacturing ecosystem relies upon assured access for start-ups and small and medium manufacturers to prototyping, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities.  For each specific technical focus area, DoD MIIs define the required industrial commons in order to remove barriers for U.S. companies to become competitive, such as capital intensive equipment, international standards, or test and evaluation facilities.  Many MIIs, therefore, invest in state-of-the-art tools and equipment that are otherwise beyond the reach of most businesses in order to provide their members with a testbed and prototyping environment.  Most of these facilities are investments made by state and local governments to foster the ecosystems created by the institutes.
Each of the nine DoD MIIs have a specific technology focus area and distinct membership model designed to focus R&D on manufacturing challenges shared by the DoD and industry.  Using technology roadmapping and project calls, the institutes encourage their members to form blended teams to propose novel approaches that focus on technology transitioning and commercialization.  Any intellectual property (IP) created is shared among the members with, for example, a non-exclusive royalty-free license for research or experimentation and other licensing requirements for IP commercialization.
To ensure that the U.S. has a workforce that is capable and matched to the challenges of the rapid innovation in the manufacturing industrial base, each DoD MII also has its own unique education and workforce development (EWD) strategy and programs.  The institutes’ programs provide guidance, education, and workforce development activities that increase workforce preparedness for advanced manufacturing jobs.  Such jobs are that of highly skilled technicians, skilled production workers, technical engineers, scientists, and laboratory personnel.  Many activities focus on leading in educating, credentialing, and technical training for advanced manufacturing professionals within each institutes’ unique manufacturing technology area.  There has also been tremendous growth across institute-led workforce efforts especially in educator instruction and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-activities.  The Institutes’ EWD programs are supported by industry, community colleges, universities, surrounding communities, and states.  In 2021 alone, DoD MIIs have benefited over 80.5K participants, including students, educators, and professionals across the nation.  While each institute has their own business and workforce operational plans in collaboration with their sponsoring agencies and partners to meet DoD’s strategic goals, they collectively work across the Manufacturing USA network to expand their initiatives nation-wide.
On behalf of DoD institutes, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force provide the OSD ManTech Program with Government program managers committed to ensuring that the DoD MIIs provide services that benefit DoD.  With the help of the government program management team, the institutes engage with professionals throughout the Department and Military Services.  Key DoD stakeholder groups include leaders in the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E); acquisition; and operations and sustainment communities.  These relationships help secure the future of DoD MIIs as tools utilized by DoD to enhance the capabilities of the U.S. warfighter. 
The OSD ManTech Office and its DoD MIIs also participate in Manufacturing USA – a national interagency and manufacturing institute network – and partner with the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.  Both programs foster national public-private partnerships focused on advancing American manufacturing dominance. 

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