ITIF estimates that over 60% of U.S. manufacturing job losses in the 2000s were due to competitiveness challenges, rather than productivity gains. While this was occurring, and while our leaders could not agree on whether it was a problem, other nations such as China and India were greatly increasing market share in the same industrial sectors, through coordinated national efforts to expand innovation, productivity and exports. We can expect overall manufacturing output, and the jobs that are based on it, to continue to recede unless we address the real problems we face. Namely, how do we make American firms more globally competitive to increase output, production and real growth? But that will be the topic for another day.
Advanced Manufacturing: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell presented on the future of advanced manufacturing at the AAAS annual conference. His presentation argued for the correct policies to support a robust advanced manufacturing climate in the United States.
Breaking Down the Federal Clean Energy Innovation Budget: Manufacturing Investments
This is the 5th and final post in a series analyzing and detailing federal investments in clean energy innovation. Part 1 defined “clean energy innovation.” Part 2 broke down the federal clean energy innovation budget. Part 3 took a look at federal investments in clean energy demonstration projects. Part 4 took a deeper dive into clean energy deployment policies.
The first post of this series called attention to the eminent need for supporting a well-developed and funded clean energy manufacturing sector as part of a robust innovation ecosystem. The feedback loops between manufacturing and research is explicitly linked. Even with all the R&D, demonstration, and deployment of clean energy, the United States could lose its competitive advantage over production resulting in the industry (and future innovation) to move overseas without strong policy support for advanced manufacturing. But like many other parts of America’s energy innovation budget, support for advanced manufacturing is rapidly declining.
The Future of American Manufacturing
In MIT's Technology Review, Rob Atkinson reflected on President Obama's SOTU proposals for revitalizing manufacturing, including funding for a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The President's proposed initiatives are a good start, but they could go further.
President Obama Calls for Creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation in State of the Union Address
In his State of the Union address on February 12, 2013, President Obama called on Congress to support creation of a network of at least fifteen manufacturing innovation institutes that would bring together industry, universities, community colleges, federal agencies, and states to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. The first institute in this network, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, launched in Youngstown, Ohio in August 2012 to pioneer additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies and tonight the President announced the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs “where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.