Manufacturing USA Connects People, Ideas, and Technology to Advance ManufacturingOctober 31, 2016
As we close out Manufacturing Month, SelectUSA is featuring a two-part guest blog from members of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG). The IIWG is responsible for coordinating activities across federal agencies that promote investment. You can read the first entry here.
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Mike Molnar is Director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office at Manufacturing USA.
Fall is not traditionally known as the season of renewal. However, this fall has represented exciting changes for our efforts to build a network of institutes dedicated to securing the nation’s future through manufacturing innovation, education, and collaboration. On Sept. 12, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker revealed the new public name of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: Manufacturing USA. This program is a network of innovation institutes—each of which are public-private partnerships that bring together industry, government, and academia to solve critical challenges in advanced manufacturing.
Secretary Pritzker told the crowd at the biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, “This name embodies our vision for a unified American manufacturing sector—where the brightest minds and the most innovative companies come together to develop the most cutting-edge technology in the world.”
Since the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology first recommended the creation of the network four years ago, nine manufacturing innovation institutes have been announced, with six more planned by 2017. The current institutes are operated by the Departments of Defense and Energy. The institutes’ membership rolls include more than 1,300 companies and they are working on more than 240 major research and development projects. They are teaming up with universities, community colleges, technical schools and industry associations to train the workforce—of today and tomorrow—to support the high-tech manufacturing of the future. Each institute is stimulating investment in its local region and building relationships that span the country.
A few short weeks after the secretary’s announcement on Manufacturing Day, October 7, we launched a new website. ManufacturingUSA.com provides an industry-facing home for the stories of the network and its partners. As it grows, it will become a resource for the latest news on the institutes and advanced manufacturing.
And there are many stories to tell already. Manufacturing USA leverages federal funding to catalyze greater private investment of resources and expertise in key national manufacturing areas. More than $600 million in federal funding has been matched by more than $1.3 billion in non-federal investment. That high level of non-federal investment tells us that we are on the right path to reach one of the program’s goals—to foster sustainable institutes that are independent of federal funding within five to seven years.
Manufacturing USA shows why the United States—already a world leader in manufacturing and innovation—is the best country in the world to invest. Investors and international firms know that when they choose to invest in U.S. manufacturing, they’re selecting a thriving, dynamic market. Foreign direct investment (FDI) holds a significant position in the U.S. manufacturing industry: $1.2 trillion. This FDI directly supports almost 2.5 million U.S. jobs.
Manufacturing USA connects people, ideas, and technology to advance U.S. manufacturing; it demonstrates America’s dedication to remaining on the cutting edge of innovation. Each institute coordinates research that propel new products to market, benefiting communities across the country and helping keep the United States globally competitive in the 21st century.