What Is a “Cluster”?
According to the U.S. Cluster Mapping website, a cluster “is a geographic concentration of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions in a particular field that is present in a nation or region. Clusters arise because they increase the productivity with which companies can compete.” View the EDA newsletter here.
Major efforts in the Carbon Fiber Cluster initiative include:
- Carbon Fiber Technology Facility - ORNL received a $34.7 million award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to design, construct, and operate the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF). The facility was purposefully located off the ORNL campus to facilitate more interaction with private companies. CFTF opened in March 2013, and is capable of producing up to 25 tons per year of new carbon fiber materials from alternate precursors.
- The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation – IACMI is committed to delivering a public-private partnership to increase domestic production capacity, grow manufacturing and create jobs across the US composite industry. IACMI’s collaboration of industry, research institutions and state partners is committed to accelerating development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for low-cost, energy-efficient manufacturing of advanced polymer composites for vehicles, wind turbines, and compressed gas storage. www.iacmi.org
Workforce Development - ORNL has partnered with Roane State Community College to establish several innovative programs that can help ensure that the region will have an adequately trained workforce to support growing demand as new composite companies locate in the region.