WASHINGTON (May 9, 2013) - The Obama Administration is expected to announce today the expansion of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) with the creation of three new institutes which will combine industry, government, and academic resources to spur technology development and adoption for key U.S. manufacturing industries. The new centers will join the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, OH which was created in August of 2012.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has been a strong proponent of innovation policies designed to spur manufacturing competitiveness and praises President Obama for his commitment to American manufacturing innovation. ITIF also calls on Congress to approve the Administration's proposed $1 billion appropriation for the creation of at least 15 NNMI centers across the country.
"As ITIF has noted, American manufacturing faces significant innovation-related competitiveness challenges that are the central reason for past and present U.S. economic difficulties. Expanding NNMI will provide the coordinated technical capacity and research infrastructure pivotal for developing the novel processes, products and businesses to keep manufacturers in America at the cutting edge," says Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF. "Furthermore, while the Administration's announcement today is important, Congress needs to approve and fund a national NNMI program that can provide broader benefits to American manufacturing as a whole."
The new NNMI centers are expected to include institutes on digital manufacturing and lightweight materials, both operated by the Department of Defense as well as a center dedicated to next generation power electronics managed by the Department of Energy.
"Like semiconductors before it, next-generation power electronics will be the fundamental breakthrough technology behind a more resilient smart electricity grid and more energy efficient electronics across a range of industries developing in the United States, from electric vehicles to renewable power," notes Matthew Stepp, ITIF Senior Policy Analyst. "The announced Innovation Institute for Power Electronics is a key step to maintaining American leadership in this growing industry sector."
The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation was announced by President Obama in March of 2012 with the goals of strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, initiating new ventures, and boosting regional and national economic growth.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.