U.S. Additive Manufacturing Initiative Update
Much of the United States’ manufacturing might has been outsourced to other countries, but, increasingly, high-tech manufacturing jobs are becoming the backbone of a reshoring initiative. These jobs aren’t going to bring a return of mass factory employment to the U.S., but as the high-tech market grows it should bring about more economic growth.
In April, President Obama announced a plan for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (Rapid Ready coverage). A call for proposals went out in May with a June 14 deadline. Perhaps unwilling to continue to wrangle with congress over funding, the President has launched the “We Can’t Wait” initiative through executive action.
The first city to reap the bounty of this decision is Youngstown, OH. The public-private funded project goes by the moniker of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) and will see an investment of $30 million from the federal government along with an additional $40 million from a consortium consisting of manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations.
“I’m pleased that we are taking steps to strengthen American manufacturing by launching a new manufacturing institute in Ohio,” said President Obama. “This institute will help make sure that the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow take root not in places like China or India, but right here in the United States of America. That’s how we’ll put more people back to work and build an economy that lasts.”
NAMII will focus on the development of additive manufacturing (AM), including infrastructure, technology and end-use products. From the press announcement:
This pilot institute will bridge the gap between basic research and product development for additive manufacturing, provide shared assets to help companies, particularly small manufacturers, access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, and create an environment to educate and train workers in advanced additive manufacturing skills.
The winning consortium is led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, and includes some 40 companies, nine research universities, five community colleges and 11 non-profit organizations. Among those included are Autodesk, 3D Systems, Stratasys, Boeing, GE, ExOne, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, Robert Morris University, Robert C. Byrd Institute and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
This is only the first of 15 such institutes President Obama intends to create as part of a national network. The total investment by the federal government is expected to reach $1 billion.
Below you’ll find the “We Can’t Wait” video from the White House.
Source: White House