How to Engage with DOD Institutes

Get Involved!

The Department’s Manufacturing USA Institutes are emerging as an essential component of a national strategy to build a strong and vibrant domestic industrial base.  The Department is particularly proud, as we stood up the first pilot manufacturing innovation institute--in 3D printing--just five years ago, and it is thriving today.  That was just the beginning.  We have since partnered with industry and academia to establish seven more manufacturing innovation institutes, each creating a much needed ‘industrial commons’ that helps accelerate the delivery of both defense relevant and commercially promising technologies.

Are you and your organization fully leveraging the tremendous opportunities represented by the Department’s eight Manufacturing USA institutes, as well as the other institutes established by our sister agencies? If you aren’t sure, this Engagement Guide highlights the multiple ways in which you can effectively partner with and benefit from these vibrant clusters of manufacturing innovation, accessing modern shared infrastructure, state-of-the-art tools and equipment, and collaborating with others in your field. Manufacturing USA is a place where domestic manufacturers and designers--both large and small--can pool their risk--cost shared by the federal government--to advance manufacturing so the next generation of products and systems are produced here in the USA. 

Whether you represent the federal government, industry, academia, or state & local governments, the message to you is simple: get involved! These Public Private Partnerships are defense-relevant, industry-led, critical to our economy, and positioned to deliver value to you, its customers and our nation. 

About the Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing USA Institutes

New, emerging manufacturing technologies and processes hold strategic promise for the Department of Defense (DoD), but fragmented or frail ecosystems are at risk of collapse due to infrastructure and workforce complexities. Unfortunately DoD-only requirements are insufficient to establish robust and sustainable technology ecosystems. Instead, advanced manufacturing ecosystems must be built on common commercial and defense manufacturing and design challenges for shared risk and shared benefits. The DoD Manufacturing USA innovation institutes, a key investment strategy for the DoD ManTech program, are designed to overcome many of these challenges by advancing manufacturing innovation for specific, focused technology areas. Manufacturing USA, formally known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), was formally established in 2014. This network includes eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes lead by DoD, five led by the Department of Energy, and one institute led by the Department of Commerce. Manufacturing USA brings together industry, academia and federal partners within a growing network of advanced manufacturing institutes to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.

Tenets of DoD Manufacturing USA institutes:

  • Industry driven public-private partnerships
  • Regional hubs for manufacturing excellence
  • Investments in applied research and industrially-relevant manufacturing technologies
  • Required focus on education and workforce development needs

Help Make the U.S. More Competitive

The Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing USA institutes collectively represent nearly 1,000 organizations including defense and commercial manufacturers of all sizes, start-ups, universities, community colleges, and state or local economic developers in active partnership with the U.S. Federal Government.  Since 2012, the DoD has established eight Manufacturing USA institutes, combining $600 million in federal investment with $1.2 billion in matching funds from industry, academia and state governments to form centers of excellence promoting U.S. competitiveness.

Each institute is its own public-private partnership and innovation ecosystem providing high value access to world class pilot manufacturing facilities that complement member capabilities, yielding a robust and sustainable domestic ‘industrial commons’ in a promising technology area.  Also critical to U.S. competitiveness is the availability of a well-trained, qualified workforce with manufacturing skills matched to the nation’s current and emerging production needs.  Each institute has developed a set of education and workforce development activities that can be leveraged by all participants.

Quick Start Engagement Guides

Image linked to Quick Start Enagement guide for Federal Agencies

Image linked to Quick Start Enagement guide for U.S. Manufacturers

Image linked to Quick Start Enagement guide for Academic Institutions

Image linked to Quick Start Enagement guide for State & Local Governments

For More Information

On the DoD’s Manufacturing USA Institutes

On the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Manufacturing Technology Program

For inquiries, please email