Yesterday in his monthly email to member companies, EWI’s President and CEO, Dr. Henry Cialone, encouraged manufacturers to get behind NNMI — the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation proposed by President Obama in March of this year.
Dr. Cialone told members:
Recent studies have shown that technical innovation is a primary driver of global manufacturing competitiveness. EWI and The Manufacturing Institute have been talking with industry and government leaders since 2010 about the need for a national manufacturing innovation infrastructure to provide U.S. manufacturers faster access to best-in-class technologies. Last year, President Obama announced the Advance Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) initiative which generated similar recommendations. Industry got behind the concept quickly. Government officials are now showing their support.
On March 9, 2012, the President proposed a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) that would consist of 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation around the country. As part of the initiative, the Air Force put forth a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to establish a pilot Institute for Additive Manufacturing (AM) to accelerate R&D, demonstrate, and transition AM technology to industry. EWI is currently leading a team of partners from industry, academia, and non-profit organizations to prepare a response to the BAA.
On May 9, The Brookings Institution held a discussion about manufacturing innovation with myself and the German Ambassador to the U.S., the Honorable Peter Ammon. Similarities were drawn between EWI and Germany’s manufacturing application-oriented research institutes called Fraunhofer. It was noted that the key difference between EWI and Fraunhofer is federal support. With an innovation infrastructure that includes government backing, Germany’s manufacturing industry has grown and prospered for decades. Adopting a lean American version of the German innovation model via NNMI should bode well for all U.S. manufacturers.
If you support manufacturing technology innovation and want to see the U.S. regain its manufacturing prowess on the world stage, I encourage you to get behind the NNMI initiative. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chris Conrardy, VP of Technology and Innovation, at email@example.com.
My name is Mary Wilmoth, Marketing Manager at EWI. Let us know what you think of the NNMI initiative. Post a comment below.