Manufacturing Innovation Institutes Integral to U.S. Pandemic Response

Additive Manufacturing, Automation, COVID-19, Defense, Digital Manufacturing, Fabrics, Robotics

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S. in early 2020 and overwhelmed the nation's supply of personal protective equipment, the Defense Department's Manufacturing Innovation Institutes leveraged their public-private partnerships to enable manufacturers to quickly pivot and ramp up production to respond to frontline health care workers' PPE needs and protect Americans against COVID-19 exposure.

The (Defense-sponsored) institutes receive part of their funding and guidance from the DOD's Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The Manufacturing USA Network — whose members include the nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and seven other institutes associated with the Departments of Commerce and Energy — released a 36-page report highlighting the institutes' manufacturing leadership during the pandemic.