While America Sleeps Other Nations Bolster Manufacturing Sector

In recent years, many U.S. competitors have established strategic, well-funded advanced manufacturing support systems that have proven vital to expanding technology creation, supporting the development of innovative new products, improving manufacturing productivity, and bettering trade performance. From Germany and Japan to the United Kingdom, a focus of these strategies has been support for investments in public-private partnerships focused on industrially relevant applied R&D activities. Their goal is to ensure that research discoveries or inventions made in their countries’ universities and national laboratories are commercialized into products that are manufactured at scale by local industry. The United States has not kept pace. But legislation working its way through Congress now via the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act could help rectify this situation and revitalize U.S. industrial competitiveness by establishing a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)—a network of 15 Institutes of Manufacturing Innovation focused on innovation in advanced manufacturing product and process technologies.