Rockwell Automation Inc., a Milwaukee-based provider of industrial automation systems, controls and software, said Friday that it has been selected as a critical industrial automation partner in a U.S. Department of Defense regenerative medicine effort.
Rockwell (NYSE: ROK) will serve as a partner in the agency’s new public-private Manufacturing USA initiative called the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. The goal is to innovate mass production of tissue and organ biofabrication to help improve the quality of life for wounded servicemen and women and for civilians who need healthy organs.
The effort is being supported with federal funding of $80 million and a $214 million contribution from a prominent consortium, including the support from Rockwell. Rockwell is one of 47 industrial partners in the effort, including Abbott, Autodesk, Becton Dickinson, Celularity, DEKA Research & Development, GenCure, Humacyte, Lonza, Medtronic and United Therapeutics.
Rockwell is contributing $10 million over five years to the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) initiative and will also work to introduce industrial automation into the biofabrication process, according to Blake Moret, CEO of Rockwell Automation.
“ARMI brings together advances in manufacturing, biotech, medicine and life sciences to create new possibilities for those with immediate need for human tissue and organs,” said Moret. “This is literally a life-changing approach and adds a new chapter to medicine. Our contribution is to integrate biomanufacturing science with production techniques that increase the capacity, speed, modularity and consistent quality of new tissue and organ production.”
Biofabrication is an innovative manufacturing industry segment blending biology-related research, computer science, materials science and engineering that creates innovations, such as biomaterial and cell processing.
“Importantly, ARMI has plans to develop a new generation of skilled technicians within this growing industry,” said Moret. “Workers with the skills to compete and win in new industries are critical to the future competitiveness of our country.”
The Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ATB-MII), a coalition of ARMI, will be led by prolific inventor Dean Kamen, chairman of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and the founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.