Washington, D.C. – From its headquarters today, The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) joined with Walmart
and the Walmart Foundation to launch the third awards cycle of the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation
Fund. The Fund provides grants to innovators in the manufacturing sector and seeks to create new processes,
ideas, and jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing footprint in U.S. cities and metro areas.
“Creating jobs is a top priority for America’s mayors, and we never stop looking for innovative ways to grow our
metro economies. Collaboration between government, industry, and researchers is the surest way to ensure
this growth. Once again, we are proud to join with our partners at Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to
make these grants available,” said USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.
The Fund’s third awards cycle comes as part of a five-year, $10 million collaboration between USCM, Walmart,
and the Walmart Foundation, and focuses on innovation in textiles manufacturing placing an emphasis on
sustainability. Walmart’s support of this fund comes in conjunction with its larger commitment to purchase
approximately $250 billion in products from U.S. manufacturers that support the creation of American jobs.
The previous two awards cycles from the Fund have focused on textile production, small motor manufacturing,
and injection molding, resulting in twelve grants totaling nearly $7 million. Winners have included Clemson
University, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, North Carolina
State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, the University of Georgia, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the
University of Texas at Austin. These universities are working with mayors and their local business communities
to make specific aspects of manufacturing more efficient and sustainable in a domestic setting.
Letters of intent are due on August 25, 2016. Selected proposals will receive grants of at least $100,000 for
award periods of at least one year. Each final application includes a strong endorsement from its respective
mayor, and a former USCM member mayor serves on the review committee along with industry experts.