The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL) and partners have announced a $50m project to advance manufacturing capabilities in the country.

Under the five-year collaboration between DEVCOM ARL, University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), UK’s project, ‘Next Generation Materials and Processing Technologies’ (NextGen MatProTech), will receive nearly $23.8m from the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Researchers in the UK aim to develop new materials processing and technologies for the manufacturing of superior products and components for DoD and civilian use.

The project will generate new discoveries and identify high-potential technological innovations.

It will also strive to meet the strategic research needs of the country in materials and processes as identified by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.

US Senator Mitch McConnell said: “I applaud President Capilouto and the University of Kentucky community for leveraging their institution’s advanced manufacturing expertise to help the army fulfil its modernisation strategy.

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“Throughout my time in the Senate, I have been proud to deliver the resources needed to secure Kentucky’s prominent place in our nation’s defence infrastructure. This new programme will not only add to those capabilities but also provide a strong source of regional economic development.”

The researchers will collaborate with army engineers and scientists to pursue new nanostructured metal alloys and advanced composite materials. For this, they will use methods such as smart, sustainable and hybrid manufacturing processes.

Four primary research areas have been identified by the team: engineered high-temperature materials; advanced additive manufacturing; novel manufacturing processes and predictive modelling; and performance assessment.

Additionally, 13 UK researchers will take part in initiatives that are identified as relevant to these research areas in seven project topics.