ARM Institute Receives $14.2M Federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant

Updated: Nov 3

Press Release

This press release was issued September 2, 2022.

Grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to accelerate adoption of robotics technologies by manufacturers

(PITTSBURGH – September 2, 2022) – The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute is pleased to announce that it is a recipient of a $14.2 million grant through the federal Build Back Better (BBB) Regional Challenge awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The ARM Institute is the nation’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation, working at the confluence of industry, government, and academia. Structured as a public-private partnership, ARM and its member organizations catalyze robotic technologies and education solutions to strengthen the U.S. industrial base, protect our warfighters, and secure U.S. manufacturing resiliency.

The ARM Institute joined a virtual announcement event on September 2 with President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

The ARM Institute is one of several southwestern PA organizations who share in a $62.7 million grant to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative to a build robotics and autonomy cluster and grow opportunity for all people and places in an 11-county region encompassing Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

The southwestern Pennsylvania region is one of only 21 applicants receiving this grant funding, chosen from the 60 finalists involved in Phase 2 of the Build Back Better challenge. Phase 1 of the challenge received 529 application submissions, of which southwestern Pennsylvania was chosen as one of the 60 applications to move to Phase 2.

As part of the overall regional effort to build the robotics and autonomy cluster and grow opportunity, the ARM institute will create a Robotics Manufacturing Hub at its location in Mill 19 in the Hazelwood area of Pittsburgh. The goal of this Hub is to de-risk the adoption of advanced robotics and automation technology for small and medium manufacturers to accelerate the use of robotics technologies in these entities.

Mr. Jay Douglass, ARM Institute Chief Operating Officer, led the Institute’s participation in this grant.

“One of the challenges that small and medium manufacturers face is that they don’t have the expertise or capital to try new robotics technologies,” stated Mr. Douglass. “We will provide the capability for these organizations to understand and test the use of robotics prior to their investment.”

The ARM Institute will work closely with the other recipients of the BBB funding to achieve the overall mission of the grant. Other funded projects include:

  • ARM Institute Member Catalyst Connection will work to expand the use of robotics for small and medium enterprises throughout many industry sectors

  • InnovationWorks will accelerate the formation of start-ups focusing on robotics and automation in multiple industry sectors

  • The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will establish a regional upskilling system to open a range of training options outside of traditional degrees

  • InnovatePGH will increase pathways into robotics and autonomy industries for under-represented populations, including women and minority-owned businesses.

“We congratulate all of the organizations who participate in the overall grant and look forward to working with them to expand the robotics and autonomy sector to benefit all people in our region, and ultimately strengthen and grow U.S. manufacturing”, stated Mr. Ira Moskowitz, ARM Institute Chief Executive Officer.

About the ARM Institute

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Agreement Number W911NF-17-3-0004 and is part of the Manufacturing USA® network. The ARM Institute leverages a unique, robust, and diverse ecosystem of over 360 consortium members and partners across industry, academia, and government to make robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence more accessible to U.S. manufacturers large and small, train and empower the manufacturing workforce, strengthen our economy and global competitiveness, and elevate national security and resilience. Based in Pittsburgh, PA since 2017, the ARM Institute is leading the way to a future where people & robots work together to respond to our nation’s greatest challenges and to produce the world’s most desired products. For more information, visit and follow the ARM Institute on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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