About the Guam Accelerator Project

The Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) commissioned ASTRO America to conduct an 18-month assessment on the viability of establishing industrial additive manufacturing capabilities in Guam. The initiative has currently progressed beyond a feasibility phase and the development of an implementation plan and ASTRO is pleased to announce that initial implementation efforts have begun (phase 3).

The Guam Project has Moved to Implementation – Announcing a Project Plan for Building an AM Technology and Workforce Education Center on Guam

ASTRO America, Governor Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero of Guam and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Pappano, Program Executive Officer, Strategic Submarines (PEO SSBN) announced a project plan for building an additive manufacturing (AM) technology and workforce education center on Guam. The announcement follows the completion of a feasibility study, done by ASTRO, that found that Guam has the basic building blocks needed for establishing a high-tech manufacturing sector on the island. Additionally, ASTRO completed an implementation study that detailed the existence of the conditions needed to establish an ecosystem tailored to distinct AM requirements as well as unique economic and geo-political conditions on Guam.

The new AM center is envisioned to serve a dual mission of:

  • Advancing national security by giving the submarine industrial base abilities to print components on-demand at the point-of-need.
  • Supporting economic development in Guam, forming a workforce skilled in key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, while also building out a new industry sector on-island, capable of delivering complex ship components.

Next Steps for the Implementation Plan include –

  • Admission of Guam Students to ATDM  (coming summer 2024)
  • Colorado School of Mines and ATDM Workshop (coming summer 2024)
  • Guam Workshop – (coming fall 2024)

The Guam Project Feasibility Stage

The Feasibility portion of the 18 month viability evaluation (phase 1) focused on assessing economic readiness, including:

  1. assessing current capabilities and needs for supply chain development;
  2. potential strategies for developing such a workforce and capabilities;
  3. potential demand, including U.S. Government stakeholders.

In April 2023, ASTRO America and the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) released a Baseline Additive Manufacturing (AM) Readiness Report highlighting that Guam has the basic building blocks for establishing a high-tech manufacturing sector on the island. Several Guam-based entities contributed to ASTRO America’s preliminary analysis, culminating in a workshop on: 1) composition of industrial AM capabilities and 2) on island conditions that may be re-configured to sustain AM operations.

Ultimately, ASTRO found that the building blocks are in place and an initiative would build off existing elements on-island. In fact, it appears likely that if sufficient funding were made available, such conditions could materialize to support a sustainable, productive 3D printing sector. Having factory-ready 3D printing capabilities could address both logistical challenges for U.S. Armed Forces and support the island’s economic goals to increase transshipment of parts to the continental United States and other parts of the Indo-Pacific.

The report further proposed the development of three related facilities to build AM capabilities on-island. They would be configured to leverage assistance and sponsorship from outside institutions, including external universities, U.S. and Allied governments, and industry, as follows:

  1. A Research and Test Center supporting prototyping capabilities as well as advanced quality inspection (e.g. metallography lab) to validate part production for use by DoD and other stakeholders.
  2. A ‘Business Incubator’ would provide a setting for existing contract additive manufacturers and start-ups to re-locate assets in Guam. The facility could host both 3D printers and post-processing equipment, under a shared infrastructure arrangement potentially supported by the government.
  3. An integrated approach to education and technical skills training to enable long-term sustainability of this effort in Guam.

The full report can be found here and the press release can be found here.

The Guam Project Implementation Planning Development Stage

The implementation plan development stage (phase 2) focused on overcoming logistical challenges to re-supplying military & civilian operations on a remote island and included:

  1. analysis of potential demand for Guam-based additive manufacturing; 
  2. assessment of supply chain requirements for developing such capacity;
  3. executable solution for corresponding workforce development and long-term sustainable growth.

ASTRO is currently working with the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans to complete Phase 2 of the feasibility study, which will focus on developing an implementation plan to establish an ecosystem tailored to distinct AM requirements as well as unique economic and geo-political conditions on Guam.