The American Ceramic Society has been awarded a $480,000 planning grant by the NIST Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) program to form the Functional Glass Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (FGMIC).

The FGMIC is one of 16 AMTech awards announced by NIST for a total of $7.8 million. The project starts June 1, 2015.

Functional glasses are high-performance technical glasses engineered for specific uses in energy, information, defense, communications, transportation, and biomedical applications. Everyday examples of functional glasses include optical fiber, smartphone touchscreens, and solar panel glass. According to United States census data, the high-performance glass industry employs 1.8 million at 55,000 companies, with business valued at $830 billion.

ACerS executive director, Charlie Spahr, says, “This consortium provides everyone involved in functional glass manufacturing to have a voice in prioritizing how to improve the competitiveness of their industry. The FGMIC will bring together small- medium- and large companies from all along the value chain, from raw materials suppliers, to research providers—such as universities and national labs—to product manufacturers.”

ACerS and its partners will produce an advanced glass manufacturing technology roadmap for the consortium to use to plan precompetitive collaborative research to find solutions to functional glass manufacturing challenges. More than 30 small- medium- and large- companies and institutions from all points of the value chain endorsed the consortium in the ACerS proposal.

ACerS’ partners in the project are Corning International, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SAE International, American Precision Optics Manufacturing Association, Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (Clemson University), and International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass (Lehigh University and Pennsylvania State University). Nexight Group, a funded participant, will facilitate the technology roadmap development.

More information about NIST, the AMTech program, and recent awards is available at www.nist.gov/amo.

More information about FGMIC is available at www.fgmic.com

About ACerS

Founded in 1898, The American Ceramic Society is the leading professional membership organization for ceramic and glass materials scientists, engineers, researchers, manufacturers, plant personnel, educators, and students. The Society serves more than 11,000 members from more than 80 countries. www.ceramics.org

About Nexight Group

Nexight Group is a technical and management consulting firm based in Silver Spring, MD that helps government and commercial clients solve complex problems in manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure through technology innovation. www.nexightgroup.com