May 04, 2022

Duckworth Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Advanced Manufacturing for Defense Department


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Airland Subcommittee, today introduced bipartisan legislation to help expand smart, strategic investments in advanced manufacturing that would help revolutionize the Department of Defense (DoD)’s ability to employ new defense technologies. The bipartisan Bioindustrial and Additive Manufacturing for America (BAMA) Act would spearhead research and development for both additive manufacturing and bioindustrial manufacturing for defense purposes and increase American competitiveness around the world. U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) is an original co-sponsor of this legislation.

“Our troops deserve access to the best technology to help them continue to do their jobs, and advanced manufacturing—such as 3D printing and bioindustrial manufacturing—could provide significant advantages for them,” said Duckworth. “That’s one of the reasons I’m proud to introduce this new bipartisan legislation to help provide our nation with a better implementation strategy for advanced manufacturing for defense purposes while also increasing American manufacturing and defense competitiveness and efficacy around the world.”

Additive manufacturing and bioindustrial manufacturing are both forms of advanced manufacturing, and each provide many unique benefits to DoD’s efforts to develop new technologies that help keep our servicemembers and Americans everywhere safe. Additive manufacturing—also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing—is a computer-controlled process that creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials in multiple layers. The DoD has already begun experimenting with additive manufacturing. For example, a number of U.S. Navy ships use 3-D printing systems onboard to print certain tools and spare parts in real-time, eliminating the need to have these parts flown in or return to port to do necessary maintenance.

Additionally, bioindustrial manufacturing uses biological systems to create new materials, chemicals or sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products. With additional development, bioindustrial manufacturing could be used to produce some of the plastics, fabrics and other materials that form the building blocks of the defense equipment servicemembers use every day, faster and more sustainably, without relying on petroleum.

The copy of the bill text can be found here.

In the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Duckworth has worked to support the advanced technology being developed by our world-leading research universities and small businesses in Illinois and important entities that help connect the work of industry and the DoD—like the DIU and MxD, which is a digital manufacturing innovation and cybersecurity center, through the yearly National Defense Authorization Act. In the FY2022 NDAA, Duckworth helped secure numerous provisions that support defense technology and competitiveness.