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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on New Manufacturing Institute

Friday, October 3, 2014
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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today issued a statement following President Obama’s announcement of the creation of a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institute. 

“I applaud President Obama's announcement of a competition to award more than $200 million in public and private sector investment to create a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institute. These institutes are designed to foster pre-competitive collaboration among manufacturers, academics and non-profits in cutting-edge technologies. NNMI is about keeping America on the front-lines of discovery – and keeping our manufacturers, our businesses, and our economy globally competitive. We will continue working to support this kind of American innovation that boosts our economy and creates new growth industries and jobs.” 

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 United States. Today marks National Manufacturing Day, and Secretary Pritzker, Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, and several other senior U.S. Commerce Department officials are participating in events across the country as part of Administration-wide efforts to celebrate American manufacturers and the industry. 

Manufacturing creates good jobs and has the largest multiplier effect of any part of the economy, with workers earning 17 percent more than similar workers employed in other sectors. Since the end of the recession, the manufacturing sector has created more than 700,000 jobs, and the industry currently supports more than more than 16 million U.S. jobs in manufacturing and its supply chains. Today’s data from the Labor Department show that 4,000 manufacturing jobs were added in August 2014. Exports of manufactured goods are also up 1.5 percent over the same period of 2013. 

Following the launch of a successful NNMI pilot institute in Youngstown, Ohio in 2012, President Obama announced the selection of three new pilot institutes – in North Carolina, Chicago and Detroit – in the areas of additive, digital, electronics, and modern metals manufacturing in early 2014. At the same time, President Obama announced a new competition for the next manufacturing innovation institute, focused on composites materials and structures, which is the first of 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 is 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 Congress to pass legislation. An American network of innovation institutes would play a vital role in enhancing U.S. industrial competitiveness by supporting development of technologies that will enable U.S. manufacturers to develop the cutting-edge tools needed to compete in the global marketplace. Support for this network of industry-driven commercialization hubs will help strengthen U.S. innovation and competitiveness, two key priorities of the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.”  

Secretary Pritzker recently spoke on Capitol Hill about the need for passage of pending bipartisan legislation that would establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation Act (RAMI) would create a network of up to 15 regional institutes across the country, each focused on a unique technology, material or process relevant to advanced manufacturing. The Senate bill passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee, and the House bill passed the full House of Representatives on September 15.

 Read more about the President’s NNMI announcement here –