A coalition of manufacturers and trade groups, including CONNSTEP, was awarded a $1.4 million grant to accelerate the adoption of 3-D design and manufacturing technology in Connecticut’s defense supply chains.
The state Department of Economic and Community Development, which led the grant application, will provide an additional $350,000 grant for the digital model initiative.
The two-year program will initially help small and medium-sized suppliers implement 3-D modeling, design, and production capabilities.
Gov. Ned Lamont said the selected companies will be drawn from the supply chains for helicopter, submarine, and jet engine manufacturers.
“Connecticut’s defense manufacturers are known worldwide for the quality of their work and commitment to innovation,” Lamont said in a statement.
“This grant will help our small and mid-sized companies adopt the cutting-edge technologies needed to meet the evolving needs of our large defense contractors and ensure our supply chains are second to none when it comes to quality and efficiency.”
Lessons learned from the early stages of the program will be used to develop a digital playbook to drive broader adoption across the state’s 700 defense supply chain companies.
The initiative also includes a workforce development component addressing curriculum development and credentialing needs.
The Connecticut Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium includes Electric Boat, Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, CONNSTEP, the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, Aerospace Components Manufacturers, the Naval and Maritime Consortium, and the Governor’s Workforce Council.
"Digital engineering supports the desire of DoD to create an unmatched 21st Century national security innovation base, allowing them to achieve greater performance and affordability for both current and future challenges," said CONNSTEP president and CEO Bonnie Del Conte.
"CONNSTEP is excited we could bolster this initiative by identifying partners through our MEP National Network who can support the implementation of model-based design across the supply base."
Colin Cooper, the state's chief manufacturing officer, said the successful award demonstrated the power of public and private sector collaboration.
“This consortium is an indication of the broad-based support network in place here to help Connecticut’s defense manufacturers grow, innovate, and thrive,” Cooper said.
The U.S. Department of Defense named Connecticut a Defense Manufacturing Community last month, clearing the way for the state to apply for the funding.
For more information, contact CONNSTEP's Jeff Orszak (860.513.3217).