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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on the Announcement of Two New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“President Obama's announcement today of two new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes will help spur advanced technologies critical to keeping America innovative and competitive in the global economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “These two new hubs build on our momentum in manufacturing and innovation.  At the same time, communities all over the country are clamoring for them because they represent a dynamic tool for spurring U.S. economic growth.  The type of collaborative, cutting-edge technologies that the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) promotes is essential to creating high-quality jobs and opportunity here at home.” 

American manufacturers have added 622,000 jobs since early 2010, including more than 80,000 over the past four months. Manufacturing production is growing at its fastest pace in more than a decade, and the Obama Administration is committed to building on that progress. 

Following a successful NNMI pilot institute in Youngstown, Ohio in 2012, President Obama announced the launch of competitions in May 2013 to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes with a federal commitment of $200 million across five federal agencies – Commerce, Defense, Energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. With today’s announcement, all three institutes have now been selected. 

Also today, the President announced a new competition for the next manufacturing innovation institute, which will focus on advanced composites. This is the first of the four additional institutes the President committed to launching this year in his State of the Union address, for a total of eight institutes nationwide. 

The Department of Commerce remains committed to the President’s vision of creating a full national network of up to 45 manufacturing institutes over the next 10 years, which will require legislation from Congress. That is why Secretary Pritzker is working closely with Congress to get bipartisan legislation passed which would allow Commerce to hold industry-driven and technology-neutral competitions for future institutes. 

Support for this network of industry-driven commercialization hubs is a key part of the Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda,” and the Department is commitment to strengthening U.S. innovation and competitiveness in particular.  A strong manufacturing sector is critical to our intellectual and innovative capacity, and collaborative research between America’s leading manufacturers is essential to keeping our high-tech industries right here in the U.S.