Yesterday the president released his FY2013 budget request and Secretary Bryson announced the Department of Commerce’s requests. In the president’s budget, there is strong support for manufacturers by increasing investments in advanced manufacturing, new trade promotion efforts, and innovation investments.
To strengthen and extend Advanced Manufacturing research, Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology is requesting an increase of $45M for a total of $135M. These laboratory efforts are further leveraged with a request of $21M to support the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program, and $20M for a NIST Centers of Excellence program. These programs will strengthen public-private partnerships and accelerate innovation focused on manufacturing and technology development.
The president’s budget provides $128 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to improve the competitiveness of small- and medium-size firms in manufacturing and service industries through custom consulting and product testing.
In June 2011, the president announced the Advance Manufacturing Partnership. The Department of Commerce and in particular, NIST, plays a key role in seeing that the objectives of this government-wide initiative are realized. The administration will be proposing legislation that will make $1 billion available through NIST for a competitive grant program to establish a number of regional institutes for manufacturing innovation that will accelerate technological advancements in the manufacturing environment. These regional institutes will form a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes where researchers, companies and entrepreneurs can solve problems in pre-commercial technologies that will lead to U.S. leadership in tomorrow’s manufactured goods.
To ensure that manufacturers have access to the 95 percent of consumer who live outside the United States, the FY2013 Budget proposes $517 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA), continuing support for the National Export Initiative and the administration’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. ITA supports all businesses, but its overwhelming customer base is manufacturers. The ITA budget requests an additional $30 million to strengthen trade promotion by placing the equivalent of 90 Foreign Commercial Service officers and locally engaged staff in high-growth markets such as China, India and Brazil.
Fostering and supporting innovation is vital to building an American economy built to last. Therefore, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is vital to that effort. It facilitates the generation of innovative and commercially-viable processes and products, while protecting the intellectual property rights of the investor. 90 percent of the patents issued by the USPTO are utility patents, which cover manufacturers and compositions like mechanical, chemical and electronic technologies. As such, the primary source of patentable inventions and the primary users of patented technology have been and will continue to be manufacturers. The FY 2013 budget supports full access to fees for USPTO to accelerate patent processing and improve patent quality as outlined in the America Invents Act.
The president’s budget provides $220 million for the Economic Development Administration to drive 21st century development in a dynamic, cluster-based approach that moves away from the bricks and mortar models of the past. These clusters of research, investors and manufacturers have immense power to change America’s economic landscape.