The Center for Advanced Manufacturing at MassTech (CAM), in partnership with the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, has launched a new $2 million grant program that will invest in small- to medium-sized manufacturers across the Commonwealth.
The new Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerate Program (MMAP) aims to co-invest in small- to medium-sized manufacturers to better prepare their businesses to meet the demands of ‘Industry 4.0,’ the innovation-driven production methods powered by smart technologies such as data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation, and connected technologies to stay competitive.
The program will support manufacturers through investments in capital infrastructure, by funding projects that develop and showcase partnerships between private-sector firms and organizations in the manufacturing ecosystem in the state, such as non-profits, R&D centers, academic institutions, or quasi-public agencies. This framework will help build on the state’s existing assets, including strong academic presence, a national leadership in R&D, the depth of the Massachusetts innovation ecosystem, and the Commonwealth’s long history of manufacturing strength.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturing ecosystem was a key player in our ability to produce new sources of PPE here in the state, but that effort would not have been possible without partners at our universities, R&D centers, and research organizations,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.“The new MMAP grants serve a similar goal, investing in partnerships that will allow small manufacturers to join forces with organizations in our state and to advance product development and prepare our local supply chain to meet new demands.”
The program has $2 million available for awards, with individual grants being no greater than $250,000. The program also requires a 1:1 minimum cost share from the manufacturer.
Project proposals will be evaluated in eight key categories, listed by order of priority:
- New jobs created;
- New markets and customers enabled by new capabilities;
- Collaboration with ecosystem partners to help drive support, business connections, and growth;
- Type and amount of cost share (a minimum of 1:1 cost share is required);
- Align with annual list of key industries;
- Impact on other parts of the supply chain (expand the supply chain);
- Whether the project contributes to geographic, social, racial and economically equitable outcomes; and
- Workforce training plan outlined.
Priority will be given to projects that address key areas for growth in the manufacturing sector and align with emerging federal opportunities, including semiconductors, battery technologies, additive manufacturing, and defense/aerospace.
Program applications officially opened June 10 and first round applications will be due July 29, followed by an announcement of first-round finalists, a live pitch event and then the awarding of grants in October 2021. Full details, including program guidelines, deadlines and a link to the application can be found on the Center for Advanced Manufacturing website at: https://cam.masstech.org/mmap.
An information session on the new grant program will be held on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m., hosted by the organization MassMEP.