Face of the future: Major manufacturers add clout to growing research center


Gary Robertson | Virginia Business Magazine

As it rises out of a 20-acre field in rural Prince George County south of Richmond, the sleek, ultramodern Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) looks out of place, in a futuristic way.

It is the future of manufacturing in America, CCAM’s supporters say, far removed from the dirty and often boring factory jobs of a half-century ago.

Since its inception in 2011, the public-private collaborative research center has made significant gains.

CCAM has grown from seven original members to 28 members, including some of the biggest names in industry and five public universities.

Growth in membership, officials say, is the key to CCAM’s sustainability while providing a larger budget and more engineers and scientists to drive research.

“As membership increases, it allows for more research to be funded and more collaboration,” says Joseph Moody, CCAM’s president and executive director.

Research activity (in dollars) rose 116 percent in 2014, and the number of research projects jumped 60 percent.

CCAM’s staff of about 50 grew about 60 percent during the past year, and the number of university interns continues to rise, with 26 in 2014 — twice as many as 2013 — and 32 interns projected for this year. More


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