RCBI designated part of Defense manufacturing consortium

Dec. 21, 2020

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University has been designated part of a new consortium working to strengthen Defense manufacturing capabilities in West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded $5 million for the Artificial Intelligence in Metals and Manufacturing Consortium (AIM) to strengthen Defense manufacturing capabilities through an industrial production ecosystem that melds advanced metals and materials with artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and robotics. RCBI will serve as a hub for delivery of technical services, quality assurance, prototyping, customized training, supply chain support and apprenticeships for Defense sector contractors across the region.

Led by Pittsburgh-based Catalyst Connection, a private, non-profit organization that provides consulting and training to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania, the consortium includes 30 manufacturing organizations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The groups will build on existing manufacturing collaborations to upskill the regional workforce, spur innovation and familiarize manufacturers with new technologies.

“West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania have tremendous capabilities to support the Defense industrial base,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI director & CEO. “This funding will enable us to boost the connections, grow our local Defense supply chain, and contribute to national Defense priorities, a mission upon which RCBI was founded.”

The strategy includes establishing anchor sites for Defense manufacturing collaboration and assistance, a research and innovation alliance, filling gaps and boosting connections in the Defense industries supply chain, enhancing and integrating workforce training and education and providing technical assistance and support to small Defense industry manufacturers.

RCBI, as an economic development advanced manufacturing organization dedicated to West Virginia and the region’s small and mid-sized manufacturers, has provided resources, support and strategic partnership for 30 years through shared manufacturing, quality consulting and training services that accelerate revenue growth and improve productivity.

To learn more about RCBI’s involvement in this regional Defense manufacturing consortium and how it could assist your company, please contact Derek Scarbro, RCBI director of business development, at 304.781.1684 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.