U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander and Angus King will join University of Maine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) leaders on May 2 to announce the launch of a large-scale bio-based additive — 3D printing — manufacturing program.
The announcement of the ORNL and UMaine partnership will be at 11:30 a.m. May 2 in Washington, D.C. A live stream will be available online.
The new partnership will harness Oak Ridge’s leadership in additive manufacturing and UMaine’s expertise with bio-based composites to advance efforts to 3D print with wood, creating a new market for Maine’s forest products industry.
Collins and King have been active in encouraging this type of collaboration between Maine’s forest products industry and leading researchers. In 2016, they called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT), that would work across agencies and sectors to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities. EDAT’s work led directly to this partnership between UMaine and ORNL.
The $20 million effort, funded by Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, aims to strengthen regional manufacturing by connecting university–industry clusters with the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. Alexander, chair of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and Collins, a member of the subcommittee, worked to secure funding for this initiative in the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water bill.
ORNL also has a news announcement online about the event.