First ARPA Awards Announced
In late October President Clinton announced the first recipients— companies, universities and other organizations—to be selected for the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP). From here the Administration negotiates with each of the teams, with the intention of awarding them funds in the near future. Additional team selections are to come over the next few months.
Overall, the initial selections include 41 separate efforts, involving 272 industrial and other organizations. Of the lot, seven of the awarded projects either have direct ramifications on the maritime market or include the participation of maritime suppliers. In seconding the President's announcement, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin said, "The companies and organizations selected today will spearhead the Clinton Administration's efforts to revitalize the U.S. economy and create jobs, and will improve many aspects of life in the U.S. The TRP is an example of how we can use defense dollars in a way that not only insures a strong defense, but that also benefits the U.S.'s commercial position." The following story highlights seven programs which have been earmarked for matching funding via the TRP.
OProject: Commercial Shipbuilding Focused Development Project Specifics: Bath Iron Works Corp. has proposed a $13.9 million project (with the federal share to be negotiated) over 24 months to transfer management and production technologies into the partnership to create a globally competitive shipyard. Specific technologies include computer-aided design and process simulation, advanced automated fabrication processes, flexible automation/robotics, real time measurement systems for process control, production planning, material control and estimating, and pollution abatement. These technologies will directly improve production of both commercial vessels and warships for the U.S. Navy. The team will consist of Bath Iron Works, Great American Lines, American Automar, and Kvaerner Masa Marine and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, which will both transfer proven shipyard technologies into the U.S. Project: Demonstration Oand Spin-Off of the Integral Motor/Propeller Propulsion System Specifics: Westinghouse Electric Corp., Edison Chouest Offshore, the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. Navy's David Taylor Model Basin have proposed use of an innovative electric propulsion system originally developed for future Navy submarines in commercial applications. The system is known as the Integral Motor/Propeller (IM/P) propulsor. The $9.8-million effort (with federal share to be negotiated) will include both factory tests and seawater trials over 24 months. The propulsion system is expected to have a significant impact on the U.S. shipbuilding industry by providing advanced propulsor technology to compete against European and Japanese motors. These systems can also be incorporated into future U.S. Navy all-electric ships. _ Project: Creating A National Industrial Extenv ^ S sion Agent Curriculum Jp Specifics: Ajoint project between the National Technology Transfer Center, Pennsylvania State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will create a curriculum for training extension agents across the U.S. in a consistent, high quality and timely manner. Both basic and advanced curricula will be developed to address all of the needs of the new community of manufacturing extension agents. It will apply to all service providers, whether they are focused on the Department of Defense or on commercial service providers. The anticipated cost of this effort is approximately $1.7 million over 24 months (with federal share to be negotiated).
©Project: Computer Aided Earth Moving With DPGPS Specifics: A team which includes Magnavox Electronic Systems Co., Caterpillar, Spectra-Physics Laserplane and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes adapting the Global Positioning System (GPS) and laser guidance technology adapted from munitions systems to revolutionize "horizontal construction." Using these technologies to control the position and orientation of the blades of earth-moving and farming equipment during the motion of the vehicle will allow sculpting the earth along any computer-designed path to accuracies of a centimeter in real space without lengthy site surveys and topographic analysis. This will make construction faster and more precise, whether for a roadbed in the U.S. or an emergency landing strip in the Arabian desert. The proposed cost of this effort is $17.7 (Continued from page 31) million over 24 months (federal share to be negotiated).
OProject: Precision Laser Machining Specifics: TRW Space and Electronics Group has proposed a 24-month, $33.8-million project (federal share to be negotiated) to develop precision laser machine tools for drilling, cutting, welding and heat-treating a variety of mechanical and composite parts on manufacturing assembly lines.
This technology will enable higher precision and greater tooling speeds than are currently available.
It is expected that this process will replace some chemical machining methods, eliminating hazardous chemical discharge, and permit the use of lighter weight plastics. The team consists of a broad group of vertically integrated organizations, including Newport News Shipbuilding, Cummins Engine Company and Caterpillar, as well as representatives from the automotive and aerospace industries, and technology development entities.
©Project: National Assistance Extension Program For Metal Casting Specifics: The Metal Casting Center at the University of Northern Iowa will expand its current capabilities for metal casting assistance in its local, multistate region.
The center will link with Manuf a c t u r i n g Technology Centers (MTCs) and other extension service providers to supply an industry-specific resource.
In addition to helping defenserelated and commercial firms improve their competitiveness, it will help increase overall surge capacity in the U.S. casting industry.
The anticipated cost of this effort is approximately $4.1 million over 24 months (federal share to be negotiated). Project: NEMJET: Na- Otional Excellence In Materials Joining Education and Training Specifics: The Ohio State University, in partnership with the Edison Welding Institute and the American Welding Society, and in collaboration with technical institutes, community colleges and small-to-large sized manufacturing companies across the state of Ohio, will establish a regionally-based program in the critical technology area of materials joining. The program will build upon unique existing programs and facilities and a strong regional network to retrain the manufacturing workforce, primarily displaced defense workers, to meet a diversity of commercial manufacturing industrial needs. Innovative and flexible educational delivery systems, including on-site lectures, interactive video classrooms and teaching factories, will allow seamless access into and accelerated completion of various certificate, bachelor of science and master of science degree-granting programs. The total cost is expected to be approximately $4.6 million over 36 months (federal share to be negotiated).