WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jan. 23, 2017 – Walmart, The Walmart Foundation and The U.S. Conference of Mayors recently announced this year’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients at the 85th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Six leading research and academic institutions were awarded a total of nearly $3 million in grants by the Fund for their work focused on innovations in textile manufacturing. The Fund focuses on the development of domestic manufacturing with a specific goal of making it more feasible, sustainable and competitive to make consumer goods in the U.S. The Innovation Fund has now provided a total of $10 million in grants since launching in 2014. This is the third and final round of grants for the Innovation Fund.

The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key challenges that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing. These challenges are

  • Reducing the cost of textile manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the U.S. by
    addressing obstacles throughout production
  • Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer

“Advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S. is the number one goal of the Innovation Fund,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “As these projects come to fruition over the next few years, we hope the research not only enables cost-effective solutions for manufacturers, but also improves the sustainability of the U.S. textile industry.”

“America’s cities are the economic engines of this nation and America’s mayors know the importance of economic growth and job creation in their cities,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “The final round of innovation projects we launch today, like those we’ve launched over the past two years, are specifically designed to grow manufacturing in our cities and to fuel the economic growth this nation depends on.”The 2017 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners are:

The 2017 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners are:

  • Washington State University to establish an environmentally friendly process to recycle cotton
    waste by fiber regeneration using a wet spinning technique
  • North Carolina State University to create a universal and sustainable commercial textile dyeing method that doesn’t use salt or alkali; doesn’t produce effluent; and produces more than 95 percent savings of both energy and water
  • Clemson University for development of sustainable polyester fibers that achieve a high level of
    water and oil repellency
  • Oregon State University to develop a sustainable, cost-effective dyeing and printing of smart
    fabrics process
  • Texas Tech University to support research on various aspects of textile manufacturing, dyeing
    efficiency and specialty finishes
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell to develop magnetic dyeing technology to address the technical and environmental issues of current dyeing techniques

Support for the Innovation Fund is part of Walmart’s broader commitment to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing. In January 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support U.S. jobs by 2023.

These commitments represent a significant investment that will help accelerate the pace of U.S. manufacturing. By making production in the U.S. more cost-effective and efficient, the global retailer believes it can bring American consumers more American-made products and ultimately create jobs in communities across the country.

For more information on Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, please visit here.