January 5, 2018
Capitol Update

In this issue:


As the lead institute of the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing USA Institute, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Executive Director June Wispelwey opened the briefing by highlighting not only the importance of the RAPID Institute’s investment in advancing breakthrough technologies to boost domestic energy productivity by 20 percent in five years through manufacturing processes, but also in the Manufacturing USA program as a whole.

ASME Legislative Fellow Andy Bicos in the Office of Congressman Tom Reed moderated the event, introducing the following panelists:

  • Karen Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer, Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute
  • Billy Bardin, Global Operations Technology Director, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Mark Gaalswyk, Founder and Chairman, Easy Energy Systems
  • Thomas Hedberg, Project Manager, Digital Thread for Smart Manufacturing & Co-leader, Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed, National Institutes of Standards and Technology (Invited)
  • T. Bond Calloway, Associate Laboratory Director, Savannah River National Laboratory & AIChE President

The above panelists spoke to how innovative technologies are investments in the future of American manufacturing and America’s heartland, where the decline of good-paying manufacturing jobs has hit hardest. They stressed that when businesses of all sizes from across the country work together on early-stage, pre-competitive research, they overcome their toughest technology challenges and accelerate impact.

Each speaker touched upon the importance of working in partnership with academia and government as such ventures unleash manufacturing efficiency and energy savings, streamline readiness and supply, improve flexibility, set standards and develop our workforce.

A number of public-private partnerships, including Manufacturing USA, are convening companies, universities, industrial research organizations, and national laboratories to accelerate new technologies that increase U.S. competitiveness and secure America’s future. Products including modular process intensification, smart manufacturing, and robotics  are being made using advanced manufacturing technologies and see impacts in a broad range of industries, including chemicals, oil and gas, composites, textiles, food, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, and more. As these advances in manufacturing continue to enable innovations in other fields, stakeholders are beginning the critical next step of developing and standardizing manufacturing best practices across industries.

Please check back at the House Manufacturing Caucus’ website to view the recording once it has been posted: https://housemanufacturingcaucus-reed.house.gov/.


On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed HR 1370, the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2018 to keep the government funded through January 19, 2018, averting a government shutdown. Congress now has until the new mid-January deadline to reach agreement on FY18 spending for both defense and non-defense programs.

The Continuing Resolution (CR) comes amidst the passage of a new Republican-backed tax reform legislation that was signed into law just before the Christmas holiday. The CR also allowed Congress to push-off the need for a disaster aid package for those effected by the wildfires and hurricanes this past year. The House’s bill would almost double the amount requested by the Trump Administration, drawing criticism from both parties. In the beginning weeks of 2018, the House and Senate will be working on finalizing FY18 funding levels and passing a disaster relief bill.


The Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI) pilot program has released its FY18 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).  DESI will fund projects that bring together industry and university teams to discover new solutions to defense and national security problems, with the aim of accelerating the impact of basic research on defense capabilities. Teams will be awarded up to $1.5M over 2 years. 

This year's research topics include power beaming, highly maneuverable autonomous UAV, soft active composites, metamaterial-based antennas, and an alternate topic submitted by the teams.  DESI is sponsored by OASD(R&E), and is run in collaboration with AFOSR, AFRL and ARO.  Proposals are due 02/28/2018. 

For more information, visit: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=299112.


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that the United Kingdom (UK) spends less on R&D as a fraction of its GDP than many of its competitors such as the U.S., Germany, and France, with most coming from non-government sources. However, the UK has recently announced its industrial strategy which includes an additional $9.3B in R&D spending over the next five years toward its longer-term plan to nearly double the nation’s investment in R&D as a fraction of its GDP.

According to the “Industrial Strategy” white paper to boost Britain’s economy through improved productivity and technological change and innovation, a critical ingredient is more R&D investment which would jump to 2.4 percent by the year 2017 from 1.7 percent with the longer-term goal of reaching 3 percent to match Europe 2020 strategy target for R&D outlined in the LAB, FAB, APP: INVESTING IN THE FUTURE WE WANT—A EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPORT previously reported in the August 25th edition of Capitol Update.

In 2019 when the United Kingdom plans to leave the EU, it is unclear how it will maintain its research and innovation partnerships with its EU counterparts. However, the UK is one of the largest recipients of Horizon 2020 (H2020) funding, the EU’s current flagship research funding mechanism.

To download the UK’s Industrial Strategy please visit:


A comprehensive analysis was recently completed by A.T. Kearney in cooperation with Penn State University’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing Through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) on the topic of 3D printing. The analysis finds that 3D printing is allowing for the rapid development of prototypes and for the manufacturing of low-volume, high-value parts where customization and time-to-market are key value drivers. 96 percent of the 100 executives with specialized knowledge of 3D printing asked to participate in the study believe that 3D printing has the potential to promote onshoring of manufacturing.

With implications that millions of jobs and billions in economic benefits could be gained by advancements in this technology, the authors suggest accelerating legislation and policies to provide support such as the following:

Educational reform: Expand 3D printing-related curricula at government-funded colleges, universities, and vocational schools.

Research and development: Increase public investments in 3D printing R&D programs with immediate government applications and thereby speed application in the private sector.

Incentives: Encourage private investment in 3D printing through tax breaks and grants tied to reshoring manufacturing jobs.

Intellectual Property: Establish clear “rules of the road” for IP and data security to mitigate risks of investing in this cutting-edge technology.

Read more at this link: http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/359672-3-d-printings-economic-benefits-are-too-big-to-ignore.


Dean Kamen is recognized as a force of nature for his ability to move an idea from the lab to the factory. Creator of the Segway and a number of medical devices, as well as the FIRST Robotics competition, his vision for bringing regenerative medicine to full-scale production led him to find the necessary resources and leadership that culminated in the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Regenerative Institute/BIOFabUSA. Now there is a new focus in dealing with diseases by creating tissues and pieces of organs through 3D printing, utilizing both private and government funding.

In 2006, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine was able to grow and implant a bladder into a human patient – the first time such a feat had ever been accomplished by using the patients’ own tissue where the cells were put back into the body after a 3D printer created customized scaffolding that enabled the process. Other feats from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are 3D printing an ear, bone and muscle structures and successfully implanting them into animals that became functional with a new systems of blood vessels generated.

As of 2016, there were 804 clinical trials underway, and research in the field of regenerative biology has continued with breakthroughs in cell biology, biofabrication and materials science in the last decades, These have laid the foundation for large-scale manufacturing and commercialization of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies, including tissues- and organs-on-chip.

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) will hold its Winter Summit the first week in January, learn more at this link: https://www.armiusa.org/.


Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), held an oversight hearing on “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions through Innovation.”

At the hearing, Senators received testimony from the private sector, academics, and others on methods to reduce air emissions through the advancement of new technologies, efficient manufacturing practices, and energy production developments.

America continues to be a leader in reducing air pollution by supporting private sector innovation to reduce emissions, such as innovative drilling methods to access low-emitting fuel and carbon capture and sequestration.

The hearing featured testimony from: Kipp Coddington, University of Wyoming; Ross Eisenberg, National Association of Manufacturers; and Zoe Lipman, BlueGreen Alliance.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing sector has decreased by 10 percent over the past decade, while increasing their value to the economy by 19 percent and improving efficiency.

The testimony and archived hearing are available at this link: https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=9A307B2D-B63E-4E9E-BA65-C7FBEBE3A368.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded supplements to six Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) nodes to launch a pilot “Phase Zero I-Corps” program where each of the selected nodes will support teams to determine the commercial readiness of their technology concept and identify any obstacles to launching their product into the marketplace.

Eight to ten teams from across the country will participate in Phase Zero I-Corps during the pilot year and receive national I-Corps training as well as guidance on some of the more common issues surrounding startups, such as incorporation, licensing, intellectual property negotiation, and fundraising. This training will allow Phase Zero I-Corps teams to be better prepared for submitting a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal.

NSF I-Corps nodes are designed to support regional needs for innovation education, infrastructure and research. The nodes work cooperatively to build, utilize and sustain a national innovation ecosystem that further enhances the development of technologies and products, and processes that benefit society.

Learn more about nodes and National Innovation Network at the NSF I-Corps website: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504802.

The articles contained in Capitol Update are not positions of ASME or any of its sub-entities, unless specifically noted as such. This publication is designed to inform ASME members about issues of concern being debated and discussed in the halls of congress, in the states and in the federal agencies.

ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20036
Website: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations

Paul Fakes is the Regulatory and Government Relations Manager, Technology Policy. He covers Standards and Energy and Environment.

Samantha Fijacko is the Senior Government Relations Representative. She covers Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and R&D.

Anne Nadler is the Government Relations Representative. She covers Bioengineering, STEM Education and R&D.