On FEB 21, 2018, RAMP MD and Team APG held a meeting with community leaders from Harford, Baltimore, Cecil and Kent County Counties at Top of the Bay, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). Approximately 80-100 senior leaders and elected officials attended the event, which included presentations from RAMP MD and several APG organizations. Discussion focused on additive manufacturing capabilities within Army organizations at APG and in the local business community.
Chris Cosgrove, vice chair of RAMP MD’s board of directors, and manager at SURVICE Engineering, briefed the audience on RAMP MD’s mission and goals. Read the briefing here: Slides for AM Social 21 Feb_2-20-18 1030 (pdf opens in new window — kinda big – 15mb).
Chris first discussed RAMP MD’s Origin and Purpose:
- Maryland’s General Assembly chartered RAMP MD in May 2014. Senator J.B. Jennings and Delegate Mary-Dulaney James co-sponsored the legislation (SB889/HB1060), which was signed into law by Governor O’Malley, establishing Maryland as the nation’s center of excellence for additive manufacturing, and RAMP MD as the catalyst for industry growth. RAMP MD is funded by grants from Maryland Department of Commerce and event sponsorships. The Board is all volunteer.
- The objective is to stimulate economic growth of new and existing businesses with attendant creation of middle- and high-income additive manufacturing jobs in the northeastern region of Maryland. The partnership’s foundation is the leveraging of the U.S. Army’s multi-million-dollar investment in additive manufacturing equipment and 30 years of experience found at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and the Army Research Laboratory for the benefit of broader economic growth.
Chris then detailed the benefits of RAMP MD’s partnership structure to both industry and government:
Benefits to Industry
- RAMP MD holds an overarching Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with RDECOM under which Joint Work Statements are developed for each business partner. These businesses range from medical device developers to guitar manufacturers to car wash technologists.
- The Joint Work Statements can be executed in weeks instead of the months required for a CRADA and because the process is streamlined, very small businesses can participate. This is important because this is where most job growth occurs. Additionally, small businesses can access resources within the federal government typically beyond their reach, on a rapid turn-around and low-cost basis.
- More than 20 business partners have signed joint work statements and they come from all corners of the state.
Benefits to Government
- The partnership benefits the Army and APG in that it exposes government personnel to new applications of additive manufacturing and private sector best practices, and keeps skills and equipment fine-tuned between mission-related projects. These partnerships also help offset the cost of operating and refreshing equipment that must be ready to serve the warfighter.
- In many cases, joint work statement partnerships have resulted in contracting opportunities for local companies to develop new products for the Army and technology transfer initiatives.
- Through its partnership with RAMP MD, APG has had the opportunity to meet other federal, state, and local governments, in some cases resulting in new partnerships between agencies. Most recently, partnerships were developed with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the University of Maryland Systems.
- The partnership helps the Army build, develop, and recruit a workforce with advanced skills in additive manufacturing. It also provides workload to fill and level demands on a non-interference basis, while exposing the government workforce to industry drivers and practices related to additive manufacturing.
Read the full white paper here: RAMP MD- A Catalyst for Growth (pdf opens in new window).