Manufacturing

Breaking Down the Federal Clean Energy Innovation Budget: Manufacturing Investments

February 13, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

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

February 15, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

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

February 13, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

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.

Manufacturing's Future: Effects of Technology on Industry

February 8, 2013
Rob Atkinson's panel at the Atlantic's Manufacturing's Next Chapter

Parts of hearing aids, dentures and invisalign braces are made using 3D printers. But is 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, paving the way for the next era of manufacturing in the United States?Some say yes, but Rob Atkinson, of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, says manufacturing needs something more, because the trend of 3D printing will not be widely used by individuals. “It’s cool,” but “it’s not big,” he said. Read more »

The Atlantic's Manufacturing's Next Chapter

February 6, 2013
| Presentations

On February 7 in Washington, D.C.,The Atlantic will host a full-day program focused on all aspects of the manufacturing sector at The Newseum Knight Conference Center, Sixth Street Entrance555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001.

ITIF president Rob Atkinson will present on a panel at 2:35 PM on the effects of technology on industry. Visit the cofnerence website

Cut to Invest: Support the Designation of 20 "U.S. Manufacturing Universities"

January 14, 2013
| Reports

Congress should establish an initiative to designate 20 institutions of higher education as “U.S. Manufacturing Universities” as part of a needed push to strengthen the position of the United States in the increasingly innovation-driven global economy. In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Act, which established land-grant colleges to promote learning in “agriculture and the mechanic arts.” These colleges played a key role in enabling the United States to later take the lead in the mechanization of agriculture and the industrialization of the economy. Today, the challenge is even greater as America competes against a wide array of nations seeking to win the race for global innovation advantage, especially in advanced manufacturing. A new cadre of federally-designated “Manufacturing Universities” that revamp their engineering programs with particular emphasis on work that is relevant to manufacturing firms while providing engineering students with real-world work experience should be part of the solution.

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