National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

The NASA Adopt-a-City Program

December 1, 2013

“NASA Glenn is excited to continue our involvement with the Manufacturing Innovation Project — an initiative that is part of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy “‘Strong Cities, Strong Communities’ effort,” said NASA Glenn Director Jim Free. “By continuing to provide access to our science and engineering workforce, we can offer potential solutions to local manufacturers for their specific technical challenges. This endeavor aligns nicely with Glenn’s mission to drive research, technology and systems to advance aviation, enable exploration and improve life on Earth.”

” I am delighted that five of the manufacturers selected for help last year were located in the City of Cleveland and I will be encouraging more Cleveland companies to apply for the world-class level of assistance that the NASA experts can provide to the Cleveland manufacturing community.”
—Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson

“We anticipate being able to provide loans to 8 – 10 companies.  By participating in the Manufacturing Innovation Project, we feel confident that these companies can achieve accelerated product innovation, as well as added revenue and new high-quality jobs.”
—Cuyahoga County Executive, Ed Fitzgerald

For this project, NASA Glenn makes their subject experts available on a pro bono basis via a Space Act Agreement with the City of Cleveland. The experts are available to each manufacturer selected to participate in the program.  Their expertise covers basic engineering disciplines as well as the specialty fields that support the center’s core competencies: Air Breathing Propulsion, Communications Technology and Development, In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management, Power, Energy and Conversion, Materials and Structures for Extreme Environments, Physical Sciences and Biomedical Technologies.

Challenge:

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County made $270,000.00 in low interest rate loans available to the Adopt A City Program and the NASA Glenn Center Director committed 400 pro bono hours of engineering expertise.  These resources were designed, through a competitive process, to enable regional small and medium sized manufacturers succeed in bringing product to market and creating new jobs.

Each winning company presented their specific challenges to NASA. NASA worked individually with each company over a one-year period to define and refine the specific expertise that NASA could share to solve the challenges presented by the companies.

Solution:

In Cleveland, a team of government agencies, industry and academia established a partnership to promote the Adopt A City program.  The team members worked together to advance technology transfer and encourage additive manufacturing in the region.  The team members included:

  • Cuyahoga County
  • City of Cleveland
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
  • National Additive Manufacturing Initiative
  • Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET)
  • Case Western Reserve University

Ohio manufacturers selected by an independent panel of judges to receive the NASA assistance and city and county loans were: BioInVison, Gotta Groove Records, Mega Joule, Morrison Products, Pile Dynamics, Inc., Sensor Development Corporation and Vadxx energy.

Benefits:

The economic impact of this program revealed by the survey completed by MAGNET includes:

Number of Jobs Created: 15
Number of Jobs Retained: 2
Number of Units Sold: 110,000
Revenue Generated: $465,000
Private Dollars invested in Projects: $472,000
Cost Savings Realized from Projects: $175,000