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Wichita State University

Build Back Better Regional Challenge Winner

Coalition Lead Applicant: Wichita State University

Project Title: Driving Adoption: Smart Manufacturing Technologies

Region (applicant-defined): Wichita, Kansas

Coalition Overarching Narrative (applicant submitted) (PDF)

View Press Release

Phase 2 Federal Award: Approximately $51.4 million

Project Description:
The South Kansas Coalition, led by Wichita State University (WSU), will receive approximately $51.4 million to strengthen the United States’ competitive advantage and global market share in aerospace production. Over the next two decades, industry forecasts indicate a need to build twice as many aircraft as have been built in the last half century, creating a profound economic moment for the Wichita region. EDA funding will stand up an Additive Manufacturing Adoption Program to support the adoption of new production methods by small- and mid-sized manufacturers. The goal is to shift the manufacturing landscape in the region from a fragmented network of suppliers with outdated processes to a consistent set of qualified factories that can outperform global competitors. Funding will also support the buildout of a workforce training facility and a complementary Smart Manufacturing Adoption Program, which together will de-risk the introduction of new technologies in manufacturing by providing worker training. The South Kansas coalition brings together world-class expertise from academic institutions (e.g., WSU, WSU Tech), leading industry players (e.g., Spirit AeroSystems, GE Aviation), and public sector actors (e.g., State of Kansas).

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