International standards organization ASTM International develops and publishes technical standards for a range of materials, products, systems, services, and industries, including additive manufacturing, around the world. The non-profit organization formed its F42 committee on additive manufacturing technologies nearly a decade ago, and proposed new 3D printing guidelines for powder bed fusion machines back in 2014, helped the 3MF Consortium coordinate standards across the 3D printing community for the new format, and worked with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) last year to create the Additive Manufacturing Standards Development Structure. Recently, ASTM International made a bold move and announced that it will be setting up a center of excellence (CoE) in the additive manufacturing field.
“Over the last decade, hundreds of the world’s top experts in additive manufacturing have pioneered the development of new standards through ASTM International. We are thrilled to take this next bold step to bridge standards development with R&D, while also meeting the growing demand for related services in this field,” said ASTM International President Katharine Morgan.
This decision is an organizational first, and will take a lot of work to properly set up, which is why the organization is also seeking partners to help with the launch. ASTM has put out a Request for Proposals to universities and the industry itself that will focus on setting up the global hub for innovation.
This new center is set to advance the technical standards, education and training, and related research and development efforts in the field of additive manufacturing. To further its role as a global innovation hub, it will have capabilities to support education, training, and testing, in order to help users figure out the best ways to fix industry gaps. Additionally, it will also be a consortium to attract stakeholders from outside industries that are putting the technology to increasingly good use in their separate applications. According to the RFP, industry-university collaborative activities of the ASTM AM CoE include hosting workshops and events, creating national and international industry-university partnerships, and setting up testing, training, and certification programs.
The Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence will be supported by up to $250,000 annually for no more than five years, thanks to in-kind contributions and other funds. If ASTM receives enough in-kind support, this award amount could potentially go up.
ASTM is now accepting proposals, only from universities and organizations, to set up the center as a partnership. It will not accept cost sharing for proposals, and applicants will need to put an emphasis on approaches that will use collaboration and coordination between government, academia, and industry. Proposals will be evaluated through a combined review process of peer review panel meetings and independent reviews, and will be judged on the following criteria:
- Adherence to Originality and Innovativeness of AM Research
- AM Impact and Cooperative Linkages
- AM Sector-Connectedness
- Industry-Relevant Research
ASTM will also take into account an applicant’s qualifications, center capabilities, facilities, and related experiences, and anticipates choosing up to two awards for this initiative. To learn more details about the proposal process, such as format, frequently asked questions, and the review and selection process, you can take a look at the Final RFP here. There’s not much time to waste – electronic letters of intent are due in one week, by noon EST on November 27th, and full proposals are due by 5 PM EST on December 15th. All applicants will be informed of ASTM’s final decision in writing by January of 2018.
Will your university or organization be submitting a proposal to ASTM? Let us know, and discuss other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source: ASTM International]
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