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NMSU engineering part of consortium awarded $457,000 for border technology manufacturing

Innovation Frontier Southwest was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, for $457,000 to develop a strategic plan for manufacturing in the southern Arizona and New Mexico region. The grant was awarded as part of the "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership," an Obama administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and create jobs in cities across the country.


The New Mexico State University Engineering New Mexico Resource Network, directed by College of Engineering Assistant Dean Patricia A. Sullivan, is part of the consortium receiving the grant.

The Border Technology Manufacturing Initiative, the project developed by IFS, is a collaborative effort among government, academia and industry to build a regional strategy for manufacturing, utilizing the region's strength in border technology. The grant is designed as a series of targeted studies that will allow the region to determine current assets and deficits. It will incorporate infrastructure, workforce, research and policy in its analysis. IFS will use the data to address and develop a strategic plan.

This grant is pivotal to the next round of grant funding expected later this year.

Innovation Frontier Southwest is a collaboration of the following partners: Tech Parks Arizona, University of Arizona, Pima County, Arizona Commerce Authority, City of Tucson, Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, New Mexico State University Engineering New Mexico Resource Network and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Acting Small Business Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit, announced the grant. The $7 million in grants and other investments are the first round of funding in a major reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain and expand investment in manufacturing and spur international trade and exports. These grants and investments will help communities develop plans to build strengths in specific industries through workforce training,
specialized research, strengthened supply chains, improved transportation and energy infrastructure, export promotion and better access to capital.

Grants and investments awarded in 2013 will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched in fall 2013 and awarded in the spring of 2014. In the 2014 challenge competition, the administration will designate stand-out manufacturing communities and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government. Moreover, top manufacturing communities may receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance - in partnership with industry and localities - substantial economic development investments such as workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.

For more information on the entire IMCP, please visit http://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2013/04/17/fact-sheet-investing-manufacturing-communities-partnership.