By connecting small suppliers with wider industrial networks in a $20 million initiative, the Biden Administration hopes to make domestic supply chains more resilient and efficient, the federal government said.
The money comes in the form of roughly $400,000 being sent to every state and Puerto Rico through the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Commerce Department said on June 9.
The awards will support the creation of a database called the national Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network (SCOIN) that will focus on providing supplier scouting services, establishing new service offerings to improve existing supply chain networks, filling gaps in the supply chain by connecting original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with small and medium-sized manufacturers, and creating a complete map of U.S. supplier capability and capacity.
Funding is provided by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which authorized a pilot program of awards that would allow MEP centers to provide services focused on resiliency of domestic supply chains, workforce development, and adoption of advanced technology upgrades at small and medium-sized manufacturers.
“For the first time, the U.S. government is creating a comprehensive end-to-end mapping of the supply chain, which is crucial for the domestic manufacturing industry and resiliency,” Pravina Raghavan, NIST MEP director, said in a release. “Supply chain shortages are due to a lack of supply chain capacity. To address this issue, we’re creating an information system that lays out all the suppliers across various industries. This way, we can connect small suppliers to more opportunities in the supply chain.”