Growing a Competitive Defense Manufacturing Force

The AIM Higher Consortium is a wide-ranging program funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of strengthening the defense supply chain in the Greater Pittsburgh region of Southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Learn more Aim2Learn Webinar Series

The AIM Higher Consortium has Resources to Assist Manufacturers

AIM Higher is led by Catalyst Connection with over 30 academic, economic development, technology institute, and manufacturing partners from around the region. The Program is funded by the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (DoD-OLDCC). The AIM Higher Consortium will directly support DoD-OLDCC’s mission to enhance the readiness, resiliency, and innovation of the national defense manufacturing supply chain. This program supports that effort by providing comprehensive technical assistance to small- and medium-sized defense manufacturing entities in key technology areas. The objective is support to small and medium-sized manufacturers in the defense industry seeking to expand business and operational capabilities to strengthen the supply chain and create and retain jobs in defense manufacturing sectors.




Access to consortium members and partners who can assist manufacturing companies with advanced technology.



Defense industry supply chain, cybersecurity, technology adaptation and various improvement resources.



Assistance & grant opportunities to offset project costs that will make a company more successful in the defense supply chain.



The latest developments and national events related to defense supply chains and advanced technology.


View All of the Latest Resources.

AIM Higher Consortium provides industry information and resources to implement business improvements. By compiling resources from all thirteen AIM Higher partners, including several leading universities and research institutes, we place a wealth of information at your fingertips.

News & Updates

Pittsburgh’s Neighborhood 91 will be home to futuristic manufacturing

Pittsburghers are known for being neighborly, but one recent neighborhood event attended by University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher was a little different than most.


Building a local ecosystem for defense manufacturing

When a small inexpensive 3D printer aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean was used to make a replacement bumper for an F-35B fighter jet’s landing gear door in 2018, it saved the Marine Corps from having to order an entire new $60,000 door.


ARM Institute Names Two Fellows in Support AIM Higher Consortium

The ARM Institute is proud to announce the selection of two new ARM Institute Fellows: Jim Clark from ARIS Technology and Christopher Ravasio from ARIN Technologies.


‘Historical’ day at Showcase: JWF claims region’s first vehicle assembly line; Pa., Denmark announce energy pact

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – JWF Industries has begun building complete Army ground mobility vehicles at its facility on Iron Street in Johnstown, company leaders said Friday.


New facility will support long-term growth in advanced weapons development by investing in adaptable manufacturing techniques

ROCKET CENTER, W.Va. – July 6, 2022 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today announced the construction of a new 113,000 square foot facility in West Virginia that will increase the company’s capacity within the defense industrial base to ensure delivery of current and future weapons to meet warfighter needs.


The Health and Readiness of the Defense Industrial Base 

The National Defense Industrial Association's third annual Vital Signs report is now available. While our main team of authors is based out of Arlington, VA, where the Association is headquartered, our contributing Junior Policy Fellows come from across the nation.


The Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project Expands to Pittsburgh

We are pleased to announce that on April 7th, the Navy committed to establishing the Pittsburgh Flag for the Mid-Atlantic Submarine Talent (MAST) Pipeline Project (Formerly Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project).


Recap: Digital Transformation for Manufacturing

Digital Transformation, like so many other terms in the Industry 4.0 buzzword bingo wheel, can easily get lost in translation and be dismissed as another “sounds neat, but not realistic for me” technology topic.


US Navy eyes 3D printing for submarine parts to ease burden on strained industrial base

Among the top risks to the critical Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program is fragility in key parts of the industrial base. Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, could fix that.



If you’re a small or medium-sized manufacturer in the defense industry seeking to expand business and operational capabilities to strengthen the supply chain and create and maintain jobs, we’d love to hear from you. Please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch soon.