Northeastern Maryland Additive Manufacturing Innovation Authority Holds Inaugural Meeting
(Bel Air, MD) – The Northeastern Maryland Additive Manufacturing Innovation Authority (NMAMIA) hosted the inaugural meeting at Aberdeen Proving Ground on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. NMAMIA was enacted by legislation during the last Maryland Legislative session to capitalize on the region’s existing resources in additive manufacturing — including 3D printing, meteorology, and rapid prototyping — to encourage growth of manufacturing. The event included a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) signing withAPG’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC).
“Additive manufacturing will do for Northeastern Maryland what computer did for Silicon Valley,” said Senator JB Jennings, who attended the event.
This initiative began with President Obama’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s core manufacturing infrastructure through facilitation of local and regional commercialization with federal laboratories. The actions have included investments in innovative, advanced technology, education and infrastructure.
NMAMIA is designed to be a non-profit organization that will work with APG and viable businesses that can benefit from additive manufacturing. According to Rick Decker, the new executive director of NMAMIA, the organization will help capture Federal funding that is available for the advancement of manufacturing.
“NMAMIA will act as the conduit to a sustainable, high-performing, high-technology manufacturing center that will advance the economic development of both Harford County and northeastern Maryland,” Decker said.
Dave Wheatley, president of D. Wheatley Enterprises and the new president of NMAMIA, concurs. “The goal of NMAMIA is to expand the single-solution concept of 3D printing, which is often equated to additive manufacturing, to a full manufacturing solution,” he said. “We have the resources in both equipment and talent in Harford County to do this effectively, and now we have the organization that will help make it happen.”
Joe Wienand, director at APG’s ECBC, noted that the signing of the CRADA is an essential piece of the puzzle. “The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement will allow industries to access the equipment and knowledge base of additive manufacturing at APG, to further advance their technologies and that of the region,” he said.
Under the leadership of Decker, the NMAMIA Board of Directors will work with companies to garner the resources necessary for the advancement of additive manufacturing.
The Board of Directors includes stakeholders from the education entities of Harford and Cecil Counties, the respective Offices of Economic Development, ECBC, DBED, and notable companies such as SURVICE Engineering, Chesapeake Testing and ATK that are already working with APG on additive manufacturing programs.