RIT to lead new Manufacturing USA Institute

Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance will direct $140 million institute to improve competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing

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Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability will lead a national coalition of top universities and companies named by the U.S. Department of Energy to forge a new clean energy manufacturing initiative.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) was selected today by the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of its Manufacturing USA initiative, to lead its new Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute—a national coalition of leading universities and companies that will forge new clean energy initiatives deemed critical in keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive.

The REMADE Institute, under the RIT-led Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (SMIA), will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding that will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from industry and other consortium members, including 85 partners.

The institute will focus its efforts on driving down the cost of technologies essential to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50-percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027. These efficiency measures could save billions of dollars in energy costs and improve U.S. economic competitiveness through innovative new manufacturing techniques, small business opportunities and offer new training and jobs for American workers.

RIT has a long and well-established reputation as a global leader in sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing, applied research, technology transfer and policy development. In addition to the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, established in 2007 with support from Rochester businessman B. Thomas Golisano, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and New York state, RIT is home to several research centers that also will be leveraged in the federal initiative.

The university will work in collaboration with Idaho National Lab, Argonne National Lab, University of Illinois and other leading universities, national labs and industrial partners in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. In all, 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs, 26 industry trade associations and foundations and three states (New York, Colorado and Utah) are engaged in the effort.

“As the proud academic leader of the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, we look forward to making a critical impact on U.S. manufacturing by working collaboratively with our coalition partners in enabling improvements to the use of clean energy toward enhancing U.S. manufacturing productivity,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “We are very appreciative and proud that our elected leaders have once again recognized the significant impact that our university has had—and will continue to have—on U.S. manufacturing.”

“Across the nation and around the world, cleaner production, clean tech and adoption of a circular economy are recognized as critical drivers to a prosperous future,” added Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. He will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of SMIA and the REMADE initiative. “As resource scarcity intensifies, the thoughtful use of water, energy and raw materials is the only path forward. This institute will leverage several strong building blocks already in place in New York state and create new opportunities for economic growth.”

Economic impact and workforce development

REMADE Institute partners have the following five-year goals:

  • Reduce primary feedstock consumption in manufacturing by 30 percent
  • Achieve 25 percent reduction in embodied energy of targeted materials
  • Achieve cost parity for secondary materials
  • Improve energy efficiency of secondary material processing by 30 percent
  • Increase size of remanufacturing industry by 100 percent

According to Nasr, the REMADE Institute also will develop and implement an education and workforce development program that will fill workforce gaps identified by its industry, government and academic partners and build the next generation of the recycling and remanufacturing workforce.

About Manufacturing USA

Manufacturing USA is a network of regional institutes, each with a specialized technology focus. Also known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), the consortium brings together academia, industry and federal partners with a goal to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing research and development infrastructure. The institutes are tasked with bridging the gap between basic research and product development in key technology areas regarded as critical to U.S. manufacturing.

Launched in 2012, there are now 13 research institutes with two more planned for later this year. RIT is involved in six of the institutes with the latest, REMADE Institute, being the first where the university will serve as the lead member.

“This initiative represents a unique and timely opportunity to build strengths and capabilities in New York state, bringing innovation and transferring significant technology to our energy and clean teach industries,” Nasr said. “Locating the institute hub at RIT will uniquely position the state as a prominent leader in sustainable manufacturing.”

To learn more on Manufacturing USA, go to https://www.manufacturingusa.com/.

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