|Published Thursday, May 31, 2007|
This reversal in the House casts new doubts on the future of federal venture capital style investment programs. Congress endorses continuation of the Central Intelligence Agency venture capital fund, but has recently moved to slow or stop the creation of similar venture programs in other agencies. These venture funds were created to address the shrinking U.S. industrial base for producing technologies and products critical to the U.S. Government. The federal investment funds can step forward when potential sales to the government are too small to attract private sector investment for technology development.
The House Armed Services Committee will review the Army venture capital program and look specifically at the contract arrangements with OnPoint Technologies, which manages the investment program for the Army. The review will likely be completed by the time the Defense Authorization bill goes to conference such that the $10 million could still be restored for FY '08.
JAMES STEIBEL ELECTED AS USACA'S NEW TREASURER
During the May 15th technical conference, James Steibel was elected to be USACA's treasurer. Mr. Steibel is currently the manager of Advanced Ceramics Technology at General Electric- Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has over 15 years of experience focused on the development and application of Ceramic Matrix Composite technology for turbine engine components. Mr. Steibel has a BS and MS in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla. We look forward to working with Mr. Steibel in the future.
Past Ceramic Matrix Composite Funding
Jerry Persh of the Institute for Defense Analysis assembled the following federal ceramic matrix composite funding charts. The first chart tracks spending by branch within the DoD; trends and funding spikes in DARPA and Air Force spending are particularly noteworthy. The second chart provides aggregate funding levels from the DoD, DoE, and NASA.
Project approval list - National defense Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining
Scott Hofacker of US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command provided a brief overview of the results of this year's National Defense Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NDCDMM) project evaluations. Of the 11 approved projects, three involve ceramic matrix composites. The NDCDMM is an associate member of USACA. Mr. Hofacker's comments are as follows: Regarding the NCDMM FY07 Project call, we are pleased to announce the projects that will be worked in 2007. There were 31 projects submitted from NCDMM Alliance Partners, Industry, and Academia. The project evaluation board convened on 1 May 07 to evaluate the project and 11 were selected for initial funding. The selected projects are (in alphabetical order) as follows:
- Advanced Machining Processes for Ceramic Matrix Composites (JSF, turbine engines)
- Armored Floor Machining (UH-60M)
- Bureless Drilling of JSF Structures (JSF, structures)
- Cost Effective Automated Assembly of US Military Optics (AN/PVS-22, SSMRNS, ENVG)
- Intelligent Machining Optimization (M1)
- Machining of Aerospace Grade Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites (UH-60)
- NAVAL Submarine and Carrier Propulsion Shaft Machining Cycle Reduction (SSN 688, SSBN 726, CVN)
- Optimized Grinding of Flight Critical Dynamic Components for Rotorcraft CH-47, V-22, CSAR)
- Tool Design and Tool Cooling for Machining of Ceramic Matrix Composites (JSF, CMC Machining)
- Turbine Engine Diet Feeding on CMC's (NLOS-LS LAM, LOCAAS, SMACM)
- Ultrasonic Twist Drilling System Development and Testing (FCS, F-16, F-22, DTG-1000, CVN-21)
We appreciate the time and effort of those who participated by submitting projects and encourage all interested parties to submit projects for the FY08 call, which will be conducted January 08. If you would like additional information on the NCDMM, it is available at www.ncdmm.org.
Scott Hofacker, PE
US Army Research, Development
and Engineering Command