RAMI Will Boost Manufacturing Innovation and Competitiveness

December 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – (December 10, 2014) The $1 trillion omnibus budget bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this morning—and expected to be passed by the Senate this Friday—includes up to $300 million in funding for the Revitalizing American Manufacturing Innovation (RAMI) Act. In response, Stephen Ezell, Senior Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) releases the following statement:

“The imminent passage of RAMI as part of the omnibus budget bill is a tremendous victory for American manufacturing and broader U.S. economic competitiveness. The appropriation will enable the full development of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)—composed of up to 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation focused on ensuring U.S. leadership in a range of advanced manufacturing product and process technologies.

This network will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. With a fully formed NNMI, the United States is positioned to fill an important gap in its technology development ecosystem, with government co-investing alongside industry in applied research whose intent is to ensure that the fruits of basic scientific research and technological discovery get translated into commercial products manufactured at scale in the United States. Improving innovation infrastructure will be a key for the United States to remain a leader in the increasingly competitive and global high-tech industries that will be central to our future economic health. This also matches the approach toward industrially relevant R&D long in place in peer countries, such as Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes and the British Catapult network.

Given the potential impact for American innovation and competitiveness, RAMI is the signature technology policy action of the 113th Congress and quite possibly the Obama Administration. ITIF commends the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology; the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the full U.S. House and Senate; and the Obama Administration for taking up this important bipartisan legislation that will play a significant role in U.S. economic health for years to come.”

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, 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.