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IMA Energy & Environment Blog

Manufacturing Madness: Competitive on and off the Court

The Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) partners with industry, small businesses, universities, regional entities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging energy technologies. University partners bring crucial research expertise to AMO’s research projects and consortia, and provide an opportunity to strengthen and advance the manufacturing workforce.

Learn more about the Advanced Manufacturing Office. Each year people around the world sit down to fill out their NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brackets. In doing so, they take on a monumental challenge: trying to predict the unpredictable. As they make their forecasts, people turn to a whole spectrum of methodologies, from using complex mathematical models to choosing teams based on favorite mascots and jersey colors.


Innovative approaches can take a team a long way in a college basketball tournament. The same is true for innovation in manufacturing and energy technologies that drive economic growth and job creation.

This year, the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) developed its own ground-breaking methodology–rooting for schools that partner with our office. We already know that the teams participating in the NCAA tournament are competitive on the court, but they also make U.S. manufacturers more competitive through their partnerships with AMO.

Colleges and universities work with us to drive American manufacturing competitiveness through applied research, development, and demonstration of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, including smart manufacturing and 3D printing. These technologies are paired with technical assistance and workforce development to ensure that manufacturers can maximize potential and optimize talent through adoption of new technologies and best practices.


The basic skills required to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics aren’t so different from the skills students learn through manufacturing partnerships. Both environments offer valuable experience and develop proficiencies in teamwork, goal-setting, and thinking on your feet. Students also discover how to learn and adapt in challenging situations. This can be translated into a broad spectrum of future careers that lead to a stronger and better prepared American workforce.

Here are some of the ways the schools in your bracket are partnering with AMO and contributing to America’s manufacturing competitiveness:

The University of Miami — Provides energy assessments to small- and medium-sized manufacturers, while also training the next generation of energy engineers through the Industrial Assessment Center program

Florida State University — Recently awarded $1 million through the Next Generation Electronic Machines program to address the reliability of superconducting coils through an innovative manufacturing process

Michigan State University — Research partner supporting The Composites Institute and the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute.