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$160 million in circular manufacturing funds up for grabs

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 will provide as much as $160 million to fund technology and manufacturing hubs with tangible societal and economic impact across the usa in 2025.

To distribute the funding, the U.S. National Science Foundation created the “NSF Engines Awards,” that would possibly maybe be given to winning candidates early next year. The awards will fund “groundbreaking applied sciences in subject areas as diverse as semiconductors, biotechnology and developed manufacturing whereas stimulating regional job hiss and economic improvement,” in response to the NSF.

In what the NSF is asking the “improvement segment” of the awards, one finalist, the Generate Developed Manufacturing Excellence for Swap Engine (GAME Swap) of Kentucky and Tennessee, obtained $1 million. GAME Swap is a coalition of lecturers, researchers and non-public enterprise executives who resolve on to identify wasteful manufacturing practices, unconnected shipping chains and unexploited original applied sciences. They hope to provide a resource heinous so that one company’s waste can change into yet any other’s raw field matter, innovations can also very smartly be spread more fast between companies, and to incubate low- and no-carbon startups by means of the two states.

GAME Swap — and 43 assorted finalists — will use the $1 million awarded to every to create an application for the fat $160 million.

The Kentucky-Tennessee freight hall

GAME Swap represents the Southeastern Corridor of the usa, located in Kentucky and Tennessee, a very unparalleled freight hall, in response to Ian McClure, director of the GAME Swap coalition and associate vice president for study, innovation and economic impact on the College of Kentucky. He became as soon as speaking at GreenBiz’s Circularity 24 conference.

“Contributors don’t bear in mind the truth that four of the supreme logistics hubs within the country are in Kentucky and Tennessee,” said McClure, referring to UPS Worldport in Louisville, the DHL and Amazon air hubs and the FedEx World Hub airport in Memphis. “The Federal Motorway Administration has said that by 2040, Kentucky and Tennessee would possibly maybe possibly well well fill more freight tonnage flowing by means of them than any assorted states.”

It is this mecca of shipping logistics that McClure desires to remodel into a ranking-zero, circular manufacturing economic system, sooner than it’s too unhurried.

To attain this, McClure hosted a summit in March attended by lecturers from a range of institutions — alongside side Vanderbilt College, College of Kentucky and Tennessee State College — and executives from more than 40 companies. The summit discussed “the applied sciences that we resolve to advance to realize sure closed-loop circular manufacturing can also very smartly be achieved at scale.”

A form of companies is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. McClure defined that the airport is planning to act as a liaison between GAME Swap and DHL and Amazon, speaking the logistical desires of the two companies.

However GAME Swap isn’t most effective specializing in provide chains. “Rather a lot of here is to realize sure we can manufacture original get entry to to things cherish automation robotics for disassembly and fill [sure] that’s cheap and accessible,” said McClure. “Custom-made robotics is now not low-price and most shrimp manufacturers can’t get entry to it.”

February within the good aquire of-off date

Meanwhile, the submission date for the fat $160 million in funding is most effective eight months away.  

“The [NSF] place us on a timeline and said our proposal has to be in by February 2025, with the preliminary proposal due by August of this year,” said McClure. Of the 44 semi-finalists, most effective 10 will likely be selected to receive any of the $160 million. 

By that point, the U.S. will either be below a 2d time duration of the Biden administration or a brand original Trump presidency. Both manner, McClure isn’t jumpy about funding drying up.

“It seems that competing with China on a world innovation scale is one thing that has bipartisan enhance,” said McClure. His assertion is backed by the lately offered Americas Act, co-backed by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), which funds domestic production of textiles and gives as much as $90 billion to companies for “reshoring,” or the domestication manufacturing services. 

If GAME Swap fails to ranking the NSF Engine Award, McClure knowledgeable GreenBiz that the coalition’s efforts is now not going to discontinue.

“We now fill a GAME Swap alliance that we’re going to be launching quickly that goes to fill a membership model with in most cases a price-based entirely attain to create a sustainability model,” he said. Whereas receiving the funding would fill determined all the proposal is covered, the membership price-model would articulate companies that GAME Swap can mild recount.

Study more about GAME Swap’s plot here.

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