NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing Manufacturing Technologies

NSF Engines Development Award in white text on blue background with NSF logo

Case Western Reserve University is the lead partner on a new Regional Innovation Engines Development Award by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The award, called "NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing manufacturing technologies (OH)" (Award Number 2302943), is focused on research-driven discovery, development, translation, and commercialization of sustainable manufacturing technologies as well as developing the needed workforce.

The project fills a vital gap in the nation’s ecosystem for problem-solving research, manufacturing output, robust supply chain management, livable wage jobs and opportunities, and socio-environmental stewardship. Northeast Ohio was once the nation’s manufacturing powerhouse, but poorly aligned institutions and unsustainable manufacturing practices have left a legacy of disinvestment, inequity, and environmental hazards across the region’s 18 urban, suburban, and rural counties. Our Engine extends across Northeast Ohio to create a robust network of industry, government entities, community groups, and leading research and academic institutions committed to problem-solving use-inspired research, innovation, technology translation and workforce development.

The initial project team includes senior leaders from the following partners: Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO, MAGNET, JumpStart, City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Water Alliance, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development, and Urban League of Greater Cleveland.

Engine Leadership Team

  • J. Michael Oakes, PhD - Senior Vice President for Research and Technology Management, Case Western Reserve University, Project Director 
  • Nicholas Barendt - Executive Director, Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems, Case Western Reserve University, Co-Project Director
  • James McGuffin-Cawley, PhD, Arthur Holden Professor of Engineering, Department of Material Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Nigamanth Sridhar, PhD, Professor and Interim Provost, Cleveland State University, Senior Personnel
  • Bryan Stubbs, President and Executive Director, Cleveland Water Alliance, Senior Personnel
  • Ray Leach, CEO, Jumpstart, Senior Personnel
  • Ethan Karp, PhD, CEO, MAGNET, Senior Personnel
  • William Koehler, CEO, Team NEO, Senior Personnel
  • Marsha Mockabee, President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Senior Personnel
  • Jenice Contreras, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development, Senior Personnel
  • Jeff Epstein, Chief of Integrated Development, City of Cleveland, Senior Personnel
  • Baiju Shah, President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Senior Personnel
  • Catherine Tkachyk, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer, Cuyahoga County, Senior Personnel

Phase I planning efforts will focus on the creation of a robust, cooperative, aligned, and equitable framework for the substantial elevation of discovery and adoption of solutions in energy science, electrochemistry, green steel and chip production, carbon capture, storage/sequestration, and utilization, as well as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, packaging, and biodegradable byproducts. We seek to reduce embodied energy, energy and water usage, greenhouse emissions, all while transitioning to material circularity and sustainable energy including process electrification. Robust and equitable job and opportunity structure creations are fundamental and woven into every activity. The planning effort will be driven through four integrated workstreams: Technology Innovation (problem-solving, use-inspired research), Technology Adoption (translation, commercialization, adoption), Workforce and Talent Development (pathways, programs, pipelines) and Intentional Leadership and Governance (equity-focused leadership and governance).

This award will prepare the region for an Engine with a successful Phase II application and an equitable and vibrant ecosystem that catalyzes innovation, accelerates translation of sustainable technologies, and develops a broader, more diverse workforce.

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To engage in Engines Development work or for additional information, please contact Nick Barendt.

For media inquiries, please contact Mike Scott.

More information about the NSF Engines program can be found at the NSF Engines Award Portfolio site.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2302943.