Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems
A National Engineering Research Center

Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP)

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Lehigh University’s Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center, in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Complex Engineering Systems (ICES), will administer a university-industry economic development program funded by the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Community and Economic Development under the Discovered and Developed in PA (D2PA) Program.  The program is entitled Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP). 


The RAMP Program will leverage the research and innovation capabilities of two of the Commonwealth’s leading research universities, Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon, and the technology-rich manufacturing sector of PA industry, to form a unique university-industry collaboration that will lead to the following outcomes in the Commonwealth:

  • Create a program that is PA manufacturing company influenced and uses a competitive proposal process to select and enable projects that will drive innovation in PA’s manufacturing job creators.

  • Create an environment linking PA companies with students to create high paying manufacturing jobs and to interest and retain highly educated students in the field of manufacturing

  • Provide PA companies with a competitive technology edge by introducing them to researchers and universities with equipment and skill sets to which they do not currently have access;

  • Open the floodgates of technology assistance and innovation to PA companies by breaking down the barriers to academic expertise;

  • Focus the innovation and educational capabilities of PA’s world-class research universities on real-world manufacturing solutions for PA.


RAMP will operate as a competitive funding program that will provide small Commonwealth funded incentive grants (approximately $25,000 to $75,000) to researcher-lead teams at PA universities that engage in specific, short-term innovation projects (1 to 1.5 years in duration) with a PA manufacturing company to rapidly develop and transfer innovative technologies that would help PA manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.  These grants would be used to primarily support graduate students and other non-faculty related expenses at universities under the supervision of researchers who would be committed to working with PA manufacturing companies.  The PA companies would be required to provide leverage funding, targeted at $1.5 for every $1.0 of RAMP funding, for labor and project expenses to complement the funding by the proposed Commonwealth project. The results obtained by these industry-university partnership projects would also provide incentive for university researchers to seek federal grants in areas that augment the efforts initiated by the Commonwealth program and amplify the upstream investment in PA manufacturing.


The RAMP program will primarily target projects with partnering PA companies that have manufacturing facilities located within the Commonwealth.  


General program inquiries can be addressed to:

Dr. Chad Kusko, Associate Director, RAMP Program

Phone: 610-758-5299