Unique private-public partnership provides access to Army facilities and expertise to private sector
The Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland (RAMP MD) and the US Army codified a unique partnership on Thursday to provide 3D Printing resources to businesses and organizations looking to adopt additive manufacturing technologies.
The official signing of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the US Army Research Development and Engineering Command Chemical & Biological Center (RDECOM C&BC) and RAMP MD, took place on Thursday, July 26, 2018, with approximately 40 community and Army leaders and elected officials present. This agreement extends the partnership through 2023. Mr. David McGlone, deputy secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation provided remarks at the ceremony, in addition to Senator JB Jennings, Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti, Delegate Andrew Cassilly, Todd Sabin of Department of Commerce, and Dr. Eric L. Moore, technical director of RDECOM C&B Center.
This unique agreement between the Army and RAMP MD creates a streamlined process to enable businesses to access Army facilities, equipment, and personnel, so they can contract services from the Army. Currently there are over 25 businesses from around the state of Maryland doing business with the Army under this agreement. This partnership has resulted in tangible benefits to both government and industry. Over 244 jobs have been created by RAMP MD industry partners during last four years.
“RAMP MD is an opportunity to push new, innovative technologies forward and to develop a sector of professional partners that we’ll have outreach to in the future,” said Dr. Moore. “By having commercial success, they will develop beyond our initial interactions.”
“We all get stronger from this,” Moore added. “The economy gets stronger. There are more business partners in the region. We get the benefits of the workforce, the culture and the new technologies that spin out of this.”
The CRADA signing was followed by a tour of the Chemical Biological Center’s Advanced Manufacturing facilities, which include over $25 million of additive manufacturing technologies.
“RAMP MD gives business such a leg up in product development,” said Rick Decker, executive director of RAMP MD. “By partnering with us, small businesses can access resources within the federal government typically beyond their reach, such as a $1,000,000 specialized printer. And this takes place on a rapid turn-around and low-cost basis.”
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.