Wishing our NCMS Members, Partners, and Friends a very Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!

A message from Rick Jarman, NCMS President:

Thank all of you for making 2016 a very successful and exciting year. NCMS takes pride in leading cross-industry collaboration that creates technology innovation which forms the foundation of all our manufacturing programs. We look forward to working together to achieve even greater gains in these areas in the new year!

In 2016, the Commercial Technology for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) Program managed by NCMS continued its significant growth while making valuable contributions to the equipment, systems, and tools available to our men and women in the armed services. We worked with a wide variety of services and companies to validate and demonstrate technologies that can immediately impact the maintenance and sustainment community of the Department of Defense. The annual CTMA Partners and Integrated Project Meeting was held in May at the Lockheed Martin Company Center of Innovation with over 240 attendees and 23 technology demonstrations – a real opportunity for collaboration!

A highlight of the year was the first “CTMA Technology Challenge” with over 72 abstracts submitted for consideration. NCMS was proud to invest with the Department of Defense to recognize one company for its revolutionary technology solutions that have the promise to sustain our war-fighters in the future.

Additionally, in 2016 we hosted NCMS Technology Showcases at Letterkenny and Tobyhanna Army Depots.  These Technology Showcases brought the best available commercial technologies onsite to the defense depots to help lead the way in their implementation.

The National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) continued to grow and mature bringing new capabilities in ground robotics to the DoD. A highlight of 2016 was the “Innovative Soldier Workshop” held at NCMS to bring forward the best ideas from our nation’s elite soldiers and industry for future fighting vehicles. The collaboration between the soldiers of the 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne divisions of the U.S. Army, industrial designers, and government and industry subject matter experts gave a tremendous perspective in terms of user interface requirements of (class 3) mobile weapon systems.

NCMS expanded our outreach across the nation from industry, academia, and government seeking the innovation that will sustain our nation’s manufacturing base and was exemplified in our 2016 Michigan Robotics Day. A capacity crowd of almost 1,000 attendees gathered to witness the future of robotics, transportation, logistics, and autonomous vehicles.

NCMS continued to build partnerships and projects with both the Departments of Energy and Transportation in 2016. Leveraging the NCMS collaboration model for DOE and DOT will offer greater opportunities in the future to a wider variety of companies-potentially expanding our network of member companies.

And maybe most significantly, 2016 ended with a national conversation and a deeper look at manufacturing in the United States of America. This renewed interest will hopefully cause many to rethink the value that manufacturing brings to our nation’s well being. While there can be no doubt that technology, automation and globalization have affected the loss of our jobs in America, the ease at which these jobs were outsourced or discontinued may deserve another look. Manufacturing still has a very high economic development multiplier that enables so many other jobs, and creates a strong economy for the communities, states and regions across our nation.

At NCMS, we believe that the ability to make things in the U.S. will help ensure that companies here will be the ones to develop the next generation of manufacturing technology. We must create it, maintain it, and support the growth potential of the thousands of material and parts supplier companies that are required to be successful. Companies can’t do that without the next generation of technical talent, and that talent must be educated and trained with STEM knowledge and applied learning.

NCMS is doing our part through our model of collaboration that leverages the talents and resources of many to keep innovation coming at lower cost with less risk to all – please join NCMS to give it a try! SAVE THE DATE for the 2017 CTMA Annual Partners and Integrated Project Meeting at Hill AFB, March 14-16.

2017 should be another a great year and I look forward to working wth you all.

Best Wishes,

Rick Jarman