Second Regional AM Workshop Gathers More Than 100 Stakeholders to Develop Plan to Address Supply Chain Challenges, Keep Florida on the Cutting Edge of Technology

November 21, 2023. Orlando, FL – The Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America) co-hosted a two-day additive manufacturing (AM) workshop, last week, along with the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. “Catalyzing Additive Manufacturing in Central Florida” featured keynote speakers Frank St. John, COO of Lockheed Martin; Rich Voorberg, President of Siemens Energy North America; Alexander Cartright, UCF President; Neal Orringer, President of ASTRO America, and Michael Georgiopoulos, Dean of UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

This was the second of three regional workshops to engage government, academic, and industry stakeholders in crafting a collaborative plan for maturing additive aerospace, defense and energy supply chains in Florida. The workshops are part of ASTRO’s AM Forward FL (AMF-FL) program, launched last month at Florida State University and supported by the National Science Foundation.

“The State of Florida remains on the cutting edge of science and technology and Central Florida is home to industry leaders across all segments of our economy. ASTRO was so grateful for the active participation by AM Forward companies in this forum– especially Lockheed Martin, Siemens Energy, Boeing, and RTX,” said Neal Orringer, President of ASTRO America. “But we were also fortunate to engage a broad cross-section of the region’s academic, economic development, and manufacturing business community. As a result, we are developing a strong framework for spurring even greater 3D printing innovation, entrepreneurship, and job growth as part of a dynamic ecosystem– one that is especially sensitive to the needs of previously under-supported or underserved communities. We appreciated the hard work of our partners at the University of Central Florida for their hospitality and organization, making our meeting last week such a rousing success.”

“We have a very unique opportunity with AM Forward Florida to expand the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in this region around industrial-scale additive manufacturing,” said John Christensen, NSF PI and ASTRO Vice President, Strategic Partnerships. “We are grateful for the enthusiastic support we’ve received from partners on the initiative.”

Inspired by the potential of AM (or 3D printing) to address critical supply chain challenges and create a new generation of technicians, engineers, and technologists, AMF-FL seeks to establish Florida as a hub for small, medium, and large companies to thrive and continuously innovate. The focus is to catalyze ground-breaking research and technology transition, particularly in communities previously viewed as less competitive in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Earlier this year, ASTRO America received a $1 Million NSF Engine Development Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate the growth of the 3D printing ecosystem in Florida. To carry this out, the organization has partnered with four of the nation’s leading universities, including Florida International University, Florida State University’s joint FSU-Florida A&M University College of Engineering, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida – all of whom enjoy a rich history supporting underserved populations. Together, they are hosting a series of workshops to create connections and discern appropriate stakeholders across the State. Ultimately, the group is seeking to develop a team that will prepare a winning project proposal to NSF for up to $160 million in federal implementation funding that would put this plan into action over 10 years, creating jobs and keeping Florida on the cutting edge of technology.

“UCF was proud to host this outstanding workshop, which provided great input from across Central Florida.  We look forward to being an integral part of the development towards Regional Innovation Engine that will spur innovation and growth across the region.” said Yongho Sohn, Pegasus Professor and Lockheed Martin Professor of Engineering at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of University of Central Florida.

Leading U.S. corporations will play an important role in AMF-FL, informing requirements and future demand for production technology and materials, including AM Forward sponsor companies Boeing, GE Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, and Siemens Energy. Small manufacturer partners include Sintavia, Maritech Machines, and ACMT Aero. More information on all partners in this effort, including university partners, can be found here.

The next workshop will be held at Florida International University’s Miami Campus, January 25-26. Get more information or register to attend here.

For more information on AM Forward Florida, click here.

For more information on AM Forward, click here.


The Applied Science and Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan Research Institute and Think Tank. It was established in 2018 to advance the public interest through manufacturing technology and policy. Led by manufacturing professionals with broad public and private sector experience, ASTRO America supports collaborations by government agencies and companies to address supply chain challenges in highly regulated industries, including aerospace and defense.

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