KGSC Leaders Bring $24 Million Partnership for Advanced Manufacturing to Kentucky

Video produced by Kevin Puckett, KY NSF EPSCoR

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a five-year $20 million grant to the Kentucky Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The project is titled, “Kentucky’s Manufacturing Partnerships in Enhanced Robotics and Structures” and involves eight private and public colleges and universities. An additional $4 million in matching funds are provided by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the institutions themselves.

KGSC Leaders Dr. Czarena Crofcheck (UK), Dr. Olfa Nasraoui (UofL), and Rosemary Fama (UK), as well as KGSC member Dr. Ni Wang (EKU, Mini-Grant 2017) are a part of the KY NSF EPSCoR team that will spend the next five years working on the fundamental science needed to advance next generation manufacturing technologies and support the development of a greater STEM-literate workforce trained in Kentucky.

“This cooperative project will help bolster Kentucky’s economy, create jobs and put the Commonwealth at the forefront of automation and human-machine interaction,” said UofL president Neeli Bendapudi and UK president Eli Capilouto, in a joint statement. “Kentucky is at its best when our brightest minds are working together to answer our toughest questions. We are dreaming boldly, so that we might achieve greatly, and we can’t wait to see what this group will accomplish.”

The grant also aims to increase underrepresented minorities in these fields, including African American, Hispanic, first-generation, rural and women students. “It’s important that we don’t leave out parts of our talent pool,” said Rodney Andrews, director of Kentucky NSF EPSCoR, UK professor of chemical engineering and principal investigator of the project. These efforts will be led by KGSC co-chair Czar Crofcheck, a UK biosystems and agricultural engineering professor, who is serving as co-investigator for education and workforce development on the project.

“We have funding opportunities, so we invite proposals for a variety of things, including education outreach events, whether they’re for girls in STEM, or underrepresented minorities at the K-12 level.”


TThe Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative offers its congratulations to the KGSC leaders and members involved, and look forward to supporting KY NSF EPSCoR’s work advancing Kentucky’s manufacturing partnerships in enhanced robotics and structures.


NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research program in Kentucky, KY NSF EPSCoR, operates under Cooperative Agreement No. 1849213, Advancing Kentucky’s Manufacturing Partnerships in Enhanced Robotics and Structures.