Press Statement 18-013

Statement on 2018 Manufacturing Day

NSF director on how world-changing manufacturing processes and systems come from basic research

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NSF continues to fuel revolutions in manufacturing innovation.

October 5, 2018

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

On Oct. 5, 2018, the White House released a report, Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing, which highlighted the key roles that federal agencies play in fostering the growth of advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing production continues to grow at a consistently strong pace, creating more U.S. economic value per dollar spent than any other sector. Federal investments, such as those made by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its partners, supply critical support to future manufacturing innovators and to early stage ideas, technologies and approaches.

The report released today by the White House lays out a comprehensive vision for American leadership in advanced manufacturing across sectors. NSF looks forward to continuing to support the strategic objectives outlined in the report by funding outstanding, potentially transformative science and engineering research and education across the agency.

NSF has already demonstrated how early stage, high-risk research can ultimately lead to large-scale changes in a major sector of industry with decades of investments in additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, a technological innovation without which 3-D printing would be impossible, has revolutionized the way we conceive of and build everything from electronic devices to houses and artificial organs.

NSF continues to fuel revolutions in manufacturing innovation. We recently awarded more than $10 million in partnership with the industry group Manufacturing USA to seed the R&D pipeline, accelerating the development of everything from synthetic biology for new materials to biological manufacturing for health therapies, human-robot collaborations for smarter factories, and small business commercialization of lower-cost, tunable lasers. NSF is also establishing regional education centers focusing on fields including nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, photonics, aviation and automotive technologies.

Through these and other areas, NSF is using public-private partnerships to create a nimble American workforce with the technical skills and education needed to advance the U.S. manufacturing economy. Just last week, NSF and Boeing announced a new, $21 million partnership to accelerate training in critical skill areas and increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

NSF will continue to seek out collaborations such as this to drive advanced manufacturing knowledge and tools.


Media Contacts
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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