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

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 $250 million public and private sector investment to launch a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites in Knoxville, Tennessee. The new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institute is designed to foster pre-competitive collaboration among manufacturers, non-profits and academics in cutting-edge technologies. NNMI will help keep America on the front-lines of discovery and keep our manufacturers, businesses, and economy globally competitive in the 21st century economy. The Commerce Department will continue supporting 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. 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 February 2010, the manufacturing sector created more than 786,000 jobs, bouncing back from its decline to support more than more than 16 million U.S. jobs in manufacturing and its supply chains. Today’s data from the Labor Department show that 17,000 manufacturing jobs were added in December 2014.
The new manufacturing innovation institute announced today builds on 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. To accomplish that, last year Congress passed the Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation Act (RAMI), bipartisan legislation that will 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. 

An American network of innovation institutes will 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. 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.”  
Read more about the President’s NNMI announcement here.