Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0

UA on hand as White House takes next steps in advanced manufacturing

The University of Akron was represented in Washington, D.C., on October 27, 2014, as President Barack Obama pushed forward the work of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0. Back in April, UA hosted nearly 200 people from businesses, government and academia for a conference/workshop on a White House-led initiative to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S.  The workshop was sponsored by UA and the United Steelworkers labor union.

Now, the White House is ready to push forward recommendations from the various task forces.  Attending the White House announcement were UA President Emeritus Luis Proenza on behalf of the National Academies Innovation Policy Forum.  Attending the forum in the afternoon were UA Associate Vice President for Research Wayne Watkins and UA Associate Vice President for Innovation Ajay Mahajan.  

Recommendations from the teams led by Mahajan and Watkins included:

  • Establish a national strategy for securing U.S. advantage in emerging manufacturing technologies
  • Create an Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Consortium to coordinate private-sector input on research and development priorities
  • Establish a new public-private manufacturing research and development infrastructure to support the innovation pipeline including manufacturing centers of excellence and manufacturing technology testbeds
  • Coordinate existing federal, state, industry group and private organizations to improve information flow about technologies, markets and supply chains to small and medium sized manufacturers
  • Reduce risk associated with scale-up of advanced manufacturing by improving access to capital through a public-private scale-up investment fund.  

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From the April 2014 event:

Nearly 200 people from businesses, government and academia gathered at The University of Akron on April 2, for a White House-led initiative to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S.

The workshop, sponsored by The University of Akron and the United Steelworkers labor union, opened with remarks by United Steelworkers International president Leo Gerard and UA president Luis Proenza — both members of Obama’s AMP 2.0 steering committee.

The current manufacturing environment in the U.S. is dependent not only on location, regulatory issues and tax policies, but on human capital. In Ohio, there are 7,400 open manufacturing jobs within a 100-mile radius of Akron, according to the Fed.

One reason that number is so high is because many workers don't have the skills employers need, said Sandra Pianalto Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank president and chief executive officer. A decade ago, education likely would not have been on the agenda of a manufacturing conference, Pianalto said. The times are changing.

Gerard noted all manufacturing in America can and must advance. From supply chains for components to developing new technologies, there are ways and area to improve.

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