Ohio Manufacturing Technologies Company is Stop on “Global Cities Initiative” Tour
May 8, 2012 (Columbus, Ohio) – Tomorrow, EWI’s President and CEO, Dr. Henry Cialone, will participate in a forum alongside the Honorable Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States, comparing and contrasting the U.S. and German manufacturing innovation models. The invitation-only event, entitled Going Global: Boosting Ohio’s Economic Future, marks the Ohio launch of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, and is being held on the campus of The Ohio State University. 275 senior government, business, civic, and philanthropic leaders from across Ohio, as well as state and federal officials, have been invited.
The discussion of German versus American manufacturing innovation models is both purposeful and timely, given recent focus on manufacturing initiatives by President Obama. Germany’s manufacturing industry, supported by government/commercial partnerships, has continued to prosper and innovate while the United States’ ability to innovate has been stagnant in comparison.
According to Dr. Cialone, “Manufacturing is a dominant driver of a country’s economic prosperity. Germany has a manufacturing innovation model that is proven, and Fraunhofer (Europe’s largest manufacturing application-oriented research organization) is at the center of that model. Interestingly, EWI has strong similarities to Fraunhofer. Ours is an applications center that facilitates public/private partnerships and conducts research to advance manufacturing technologies. The main difference is the lack of base funding in EWI’s model, whereas about one third of Fraunhofer’s revenue is base funding to maintain and advance capability. We believe that with support from state and federal government and industry, our model could be the national innovation model that is lacking in our country. It could help increase manufacturing innovation overall, and lead the way to a healthier manufacturing industry.”
Today, select attendees from the forum will tour EWI headquarters in Columbus to speak with EWI engineers and witness manufacturing innovation taking place in EWI’s laboratories. A video-recording of highlights of the forum with Dr. Cialone and the German Ambassador to the U.S. will be available for viewing on www.brookings.edu and www.ewi.org later this week.