Yesterday, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson delivered remarks at a meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee. At yesterday’s meeting, held at the White House, the Steering Committee discussed recommendations targeting issues in manufacturing, focusing on technology development, policy, education and workforce development, and shared facilities and infrastructure.
AMP is a collaboration between industry, academia and government leaders to accelerate the development of the U.S. advanced manufacturing sector and to shape the administration’s Advanced Manufacturing Strategy. AMP is guided by a Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, and Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their final report will be reviewed by PCAST, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, in April. Though AMP is still at work on the recommendations, several were prioritized for early action and implementation by Secretary Bryson.
One early recommendation highlighted by the AMP steering committee in their prior December meeting was to unify a “whole of government” focus on advanced manufacturing. Secretary Bryson endorsed this action and announced a new National Program Office (NPO) for Advanced Manufacturing would be established. That office is being led by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Its goals are twofold: to foster industry-led private-public partnerships to improve competitiveness and innovation in U.S. manufacturing, and to lead a comprehensive, cross-agency approach to build America’s advanced manufacturing capacity.
Through September, the National Program Office will be focused on integrating the recommendations of the AMP Steering Committee into a larger action plan for the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy, which Secretary Bryson co-leads with Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.
Industry-led Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation is another key recommendation highlighted for early action. The president’s proposed FY13 budget included a one-billion-dollar commitment for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The Commerce Department will play a lead role in promoting that network while preparing the solicitation and evaluation criteria.
Through NIST, we are investing over $135 million in advanced manufacturing R&D. This will help U.S. manufacturers uncover processes that are more efficient and competitive, while also supporting specific fields like bio-manufacturing.
In addition, we are supporting new approaches such as regional innovation clusters, which maximize existing assets in a particular region. We already awarded $37 million to clusters last year, and Secretary Bryson just announced $15 million more for clusters in rural areas.
With the help of the Advance Manufacturing Partnership, the Commerce Department will continue its work to promote manufacturing and give American businesses the resources to build their products here and sell them around the world.
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