The fund, which launched in 2014, is a collaboration between Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. It focuses on making it both easier and more competitive to manufacture household goods in the US. It's also part of the retail giant's larger commitment to invest $250 billion in American manufacturing by 2023.
An estimated 1 million new US jobs will be created through Walmart's manufacturing initiative, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
An earlier Innovation Fund investment, for example, went to Cornell University, which developed a textile recycling technology that turns post-consumer textiles into new products and also reduces energy and water consumption in the process.
In its third and final round of grants, announced yesterday, the Innovation Fund has awarded about $3 million to six research and academic institutions.
The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key challenges to domestic manufacturing:
Reducing the cost of textile manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the US by addressing obstacles throughout production.
Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer products.