On February 26, 2004, Executive Order (EO) 13329 was signed by President George W. Bush requiring agencies with one or more Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs or one or more Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, to the extent permitted by law and in a manner consistent with the mission of that department or agency, give high priority within the SBIR and STTR programs to manufacturing related research and development (R&D). "Manufacturing-related" is defined as "relating to manufacturing processes, equipment and systems; or manufacturing workforce skills and protection."
Executive Order 13329 is intended to help ensure that Federal agencies properly and effectively assist the private sector in its manufacturing innovation so as to sustain a strong manufacturing sector in the United States economy by advancing innovation, including innovation in manufacturing, through small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) requires each Agency with an SBIR/STTR program to develop a written plan on the implementation of E.O. 13329. This plan shall be developed in consultation with SBA and describe the processes and techniques to be employed "to give high priority" within such programs to manufacturing-related research and development to advance the policy set forth in Section 1 of E.O. 13329.
To come to full fruition, some SBIR & STTR technologies may need insertion in a process controlled by a larger manufacturer. Typically, these larger manufacturers are members of councils and organizations that can be found by performing a web search with the following key words: advanced, manufacturing, council, and organization. Membership or links from these sites may also be a way to tap into qualified manufacturing content-specific mentors.
View the Executive Order Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing [whitehouse.gov] and the Manufacturing in America: A Comprehensive Strategy to Address the Challenges to U.S. Manufacturers [PDF, 2.05MB] document issued by the Department of Commerce.