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CCEFP Secures $30M Funding for Soft Robotics Research

The CCEFP recognizes soft robotics as a high-growth emerging market for fluid power, and incorporates it into its Research Strategy.

Last fall, the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) embarked on an intensive writing campaign to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its Emerging Frontiers in Research & Innovation (EFRI) program. The program seeks proposals underlining areas of research that can shift fundamental engineering knowledge to open up new areas of innovation that could have lasting impact on industry and society.

The CCEFP’s proposal highlighted soft-robotics as a growing market for fluid power. The organization proudly announced that its efforts had paid off when the NSF awarded $30,000,000 to research in the soft-robotics arena. The CCEFP will use the funding to allocate $2,000,000 over four years to 15 projects registered under its Continuum, Compliant, and Configurable Soft Robotics (C3 SoRo) program.

“This success for soft robotics demonstrates that our research strategy is effective. The CCEFP submitted proposals to convince government agencies to fund fluid power research,” said Director, CCEFP Kim Stelson in an announcement. “This level of government support for fluid power research is long overdue and critical to the ongoing health of the fluid-power industry. These successes would not have been possible without concerted effort by the CCEFP and [its members] continued support.”

Other topics that received EFRI funding include Chromatin and Epigenetic Engineering, Non-Reciprocal Magneto-Acoustic Waves in Chiral Magnetic Systems, and Dynamic Elastic Media: Passive and Active Non-Reciprocal Theory, Experiment and Design.

The CCEFP also announced that it recently secured $5,000,000 per year from the Department of Energy (DOE) for its Mobile Fluid Power Program. The funding could potentially grow to $10,000,000 per year. The organization also highlights its contributions that led to the inclusion of fluid power actuation research in the $250,000,000 Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Six CCEFP companies also participate in projects at the ARM institute.

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