Senator Schumer Pushed To Increase Funding In FY16 Omnibus Bill For U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program To Create Nanomaterial For Next-Generation Army Ammunition. Program Will Enable Cerion to Create New Nanomaterial R&D And Production Capability At Eastman Business Park, Supporting Troops And Local Jobs.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today he has helped secure $60 million for the U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech) that will be used to fund projects to advance development of new nanomaterials to support military operations, including using up to $12 million for a project with Rochester’s Cerion to develop new tungsten carbide nanoparticles for the military’s next-generation ammunition needs. The funding is contained in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that Congress is expected to pass later this week. The $60 million is a nearly $12 million increase over the $48.442 million funding level proposed in the FY16 President’s Budget released in February. The funding is contained in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that Congress is expected to pass later this week. Earlier this year, Schumer urged the Senate Appropriation Committee to increase the funding amount to enable the Army ManTech program to initiate new projects in FY16, including the project with Cerion which will be funded with a portion of the $60 million now available.
“Cerion, with its manufacturing center at Eastman Business Park, is a leader in the development of new nanomaterials that our Defense Department needs to best equip our U.S. military,” said Schumer. “This funding for the U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program will allow the Army to now partner with Cerion and develop a manufacturing process to produce tungsten carbide nanoparticles needed by the Army to produce next-generation ammunition for our military. Not only will this project support our military readiness, it will help expand the workload for Cerion here in Rochester.”
Currently the Department of Defense (DoD) is developing advanced ammunition to support the U.S. Warfighter. However, the Army cannot achieve the desired performance characteristics for this next-generation ammunition using currently available conventional materials. Because of this, the Army will use a portion of the Schumer-supported funding up to $12 million for a manufacturing initiative project with Cerion to develop and mature the production process for tungsten carbide nanoparticles needed to meet the Army’s demand. Cerion, with its unique technology and nanomaterial manufacturing capability at Eastman Business Park, will now work with the Army to develop advanced nano-tungsten carbide ammunition. Cerion will develop ways to cost-effectively manufacture these nanomaterials for next-generation ammunition at their Rochester facilities, from pilot-scale manufacturing to full scale production capability.
Founded in 2007, Cerion is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance metal and metal oxide nanoparticles and currently employees approximately 40 employees at three Rochester-area facilities. Cerion’s corporate office is in the Town of Brighton, its R&D laboratory is in the City of Rochester, and its 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is located in Eastman Business Park. Cerion develops and manufactures nanoparticles, as small as one nanometer, which are used in a wide range of products including functional coatings, additives, catalysts, and printed electronics. At its facility in Eastman Business Park, the company has the capacity to manufacture approximately 150 metric tons of nanoparticles per year.
Schumer said this new DoD-funded project will complement current plans by Cerion to expand and grow at Eastman Business Park. Currently Cerion is pursuing plans to increase their capability at Eastman Business Park by creating a nanomaterials commercial center, which would create up to 200 jobs, and be financed with up to $125 million in private investment from companies looking to partner with Cerion to develop innovative products using their nanomaterials.
Cerion praised Sen. Schumer’s efforts to secure vital funding.
“Senator Schumer has been one of Cerion’s biggest supporters and this landmark project will help Rochester re-establish itself as the global center of advanced materials manufacturing. Cerion was identified by the Department of Defense as having un-matched technical and manufacturing capabilities that will enable breakthrough technology innovations for the support and protection of our troops,” said Matt Winslow, Chief Operating Officer, Cerion.
“This is a monumental win for Cerion and the City of Rochester. Our partnership with the Army Manufacturing Technology program will deliver affordable, cutting-edge technology into the hands of the Warfighter and it will be manufactured right here in the Eastman Business Park,” said Landon Mertz, CEO, Cerion.
To view the original press release from Sentaor Schumer’s office, click here.