On August 16, 2022, a consortium led by the URI Research Foundation received a “Defense Manufacturing Community” designation and has been directed by the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) to pursue a grant of $5,000,000 to strengthen Rhode Island’s maritime defense industrial base.
With the award, the URI Research Foundation (URIRF) will establish a new consortium, Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem – “RI MADE.” RI MADE will provide resources which advance Automation & Robotics, Cyber Resiliency, and Risk Mitigation at a minimum of 50 Rhode Island manufacturing companies.
Here’s a sampling of what elected officials, partners and industry leaders are saying:
U.S. Senator Jack Reed: “Given the Ocean State’s extensive academic, commercial, and national security research installations and strong defense manufacturing base, Rhode Island is a natural choice for a DMC designation. I commend the University of Rhode Island for leading this consortium and I’m pleased to support their efforts. This new designation could help bring more defense manufacturing jobs and investment to Rhode Island and I will continue doing everything I can to strengthen our national security innovation ecosystem.”
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Congratulations to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation for receiving this ‘Defense Manufacturing Community’ designation. Rhode Island has long served as a key hub for the maritime defense industry, and this designation will help support the growth of our manufacturing base, national security research capabilities, and ocean economy. I am thrilled to support URI’s efforts and look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Congressman Jim Langevin: “The University of Rhode Island Research Foundation’s designation as a Defense Manufacturing Community will attract millions of dollars in federal investments to advance our national security, develop our workforce, and drive Rhode Island’s economy forward. I can’t wait to see how this grant funding will help our defense manufacturing sector to expand its cutting-edge work on issues of robotics, cybersecurity and other emerging technologies.”
Congressman David Cicilline: “I’m thrilled that the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation has received a ‘Defense Manufacturing Community’ designation. I was proud to advocate for this designation. This important step allows Rhode Island to seek new federal funding to build critical workforce skills, expand infrastructure, and improve research and development, with the goal of enhancing regional capabilities and strengthening national security innovation. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project.”
Cicilline, a leading advocate of domestic manufacturing in Congress, authored the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, which was signed into law in 2018.
RI MADE Consortium Partners
The proposed consortium will have members across the entire defense manufacturing ecosystem, though some members may choose to participate only on an ad hoc basis to support execution of activities.
Manufacturing Innovation Institutes
Commercial Industry and Manufacturing
Academic and Research
Membership or Trade Associations