American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Tech Hub

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Lead Agency: American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center

States Served: Washington, Idaho

Applicant-Defined Region: Spokane MSA and Coeur d'Alene MSA

Core Technology Area: aerospace materials manufacturing

Contact: Maria Lusardi ([email protected])

The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Tech Hub, led by American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center, aims to develop new domestic supply chains to meet the immediate demand for high-rate production of advanced composite aerostructures in defense and commercial markets. This Tech Hub will build on the region’s established aerospace foundation; relationships among its research institutions and private sector; and existing and growing labor market to meet the growing demand for the materials that will enable more—and more sustainable—air travel. By developing a testbed facility to prove out high-rate methods thermoplastic composites, this Tech Hub seeks to become a global leader in making the ribs, beams, doors, and more that are critical to the next generation of lightweight aircraft.

The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Tech Hub aims to enable advanced technologies and new domestic supply chains to meet both immediate and future demands for aerostructures in defense and commercial markets.

This consortium’s proposal includes plans to:

  • Develop and fabricate prototypes and test elements for military and commercial applications using cutting-edge equipment specifically designed for large-scale thermoplastic composites;
  • Design technical specifications for producing aero-grade thermoplastic composites while exploring opportunities to reuse the material and divert waste from landfills;
  • Attract new talent through coordination with labor; technical education; and workforce, economic, and community partners to bridge the gap between academic learning and industry needs;
  • Increase employment and retention in hard-to-fill positions by providing hands-on ‘learn and earn’ opportunities at the new testbed and introduce industry-informed curriculum into K-12 and continuing education institutions; and
  • Hire staff to manage the technical functions of the testbed, coordinate with industry and academic partners to integrate the facility into workforce development efforts, and establish metrics/benchmarks to measure progress.

To ensure that the impacts of the Tech Hub projects benefit the entire region, the consortia is committed to launch a variety of flexible workforce training options that target underserved communities (women, minorities, veterans, etc.) and promote dedicated wraparound services like childcare.

This summary is based on information submitted by the applicants.

Designee Narrative (PDF) (submitted by the designee in its Phase 2 application package)

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