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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on Passage of Bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation Act

Thursday, December 11, 2014
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Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today issued a statement following the passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation (RAMI) Act - bipartisan legislation to create a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). 

“I applaud Congress for passing the Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation (RAMI) Act as part of the Omnibus spending bill, particularly its bipartisan cosponsors, Senators Brown and Blunt and Representatives Reed and Kennedy, as well as Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Mikulski and Chairman Rogers. This legislation authorizes the establishment of 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 RAMI Act will also encourage partnership and regional collaboration between communities, the private sector, academia, NGOs, and needed supply chains in order to bring ideas from the lab to market more quickly.
NNMI will help keep America on the front-lines of discovery and keep our businesses, our manufacturers, and our economy globally competitive in the 21st century economy. It has the potential to accelerate U.S. manufacturing innovation by harnessing the collective power of our world-class universities and businesses. 
The Commerce Department is committed to supporting this kind of American innovation that creates new growth industries, jobs and strengthens our economy.” 
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. 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 currently supports more than 16 million U.S. jobs in its supply chains.
Following the launch of a successful NNMI pilot institute focused on additive manufacturing 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 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. This is the first of four additional institutes the President committed to launching in his 2014 State of the Union address.
President Obama recently launched two new competitions for manufacturing and innovation institutes, one in smart manufacturing at the Department of Energy, and one in flexible hybrid electronics at the Department of Defense. This announcement fulfills the Administration's pledge to launch four new institutes this year, for a total of eight institutes launched so far. These institutes are critical to ensuring the United States maintains its position as a global leader in manufacturing and innovation. 
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, and the passage of this legislation is critical to realizing that vision. 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.”