By The Louisville Cardinal Staff — 

Minority-owned manufacturing businesses will have help with cutting edge technology through a new program at U of L.  It will help them adopt additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology.

A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will create a Kentucky center.

“There’s huge economic potential in additive manufacturing,” said Sundar Atre, endowed chair of manufacturing and materials at U of L and a lead on the new grant. “I see the pathway to a multibillion-dollar economy built around this in Louisville — it’s not unrealistic. With this new program, we will work to make that ecosystem open to everyone.”

The new center will build on U of L’s Additive Manufacturing Institute of Science & Technology, housed in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. It dedicates 10,000 square feet to provide minority-owned manufacturing businesses with product design and technology support.

The institute has put a strong focus on helping manufacturers adopt disruptive technologies. It trains minority-owned businesses and recently launched a new program to provide small- and medium-sized manufacturers with training, mentorship and U of L-backed research, development and consulting.

“We know Kentucky’s manufacturing industry has a rich and proud history,” said Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research development and strategic partnerships in U of L’s Office of Research and Innovation, who leads the grant with Atre. “This is a chance to leverage U of L’s research strengths to empower manufacturers within our community to use this technology and engineer a future economy that’s built around disruptive, inclusive innovation.”

Companies can learn more and get involved by visiting the Kentucky MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center webpage.

Photo Courtesy // U of L News