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Secretary Bryson Meets with Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee

Nanofabrication facility at NIST where manufacturers come to study new ways to make advanced computer chips, nanoscale batteries, and other high-tech products.  Photo credit:  Photo by Kristen Dill

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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It is great that we fund Research and Development. My concern is the manufacturing. Every product that is granted a patent will not need R%D. It will only consist of molds and tools. That is still help needed from the government. This will assist in American manufacturing. Why isn't that avenue avaiable to those that have the product ready to manufacture but need the machine assistance to get the product to the market. That is something the government should consider. They can even own the machine, molds, and tooling until the product pays the cost back. They not only get the cost of the machine funding, they get the taxes, they get the jobs created, they get product going global for sales, and they get America manufacturing more and a lot faster. They fund non-profit in a minute and all the those dollars go to that agency and into the pockets with just the salaries of that agency. Fund some of the profit agencies they are the ones to bring the dollars back to the government. Wher creating a avenue to get more patents into the hands of innovation now help it get to the market. There are guide lines like anything else. We can start with the place where patent office is going to be located in the poorest city in the United States-Detroit. They could use some assistance.