In a speech at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center last Friday, President Obama unveiled an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) designed to reinvigorate the country’s manufacturing sector. The partnership between academics, business leaders, and science and technology agencies is intended to create jobs by helping US manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development.
AMP, which is partly based on existing programs and proposals, will invest more than $500 million on various projects, according to a White House press release. One project entails a $120-million investment to develop manufacturing processes and materials that help companies reduce manufacturing costs and use less energy. The plan also includes $70 million for a robotics initiative, $300 million for national-security industries, and $100 million for research and training to develop advanced materials at lower costs.
Susan Hockfield, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, will lead this partnership and cooperate with Obama’s advisors on science, technology, and manufacturing. Participants will include engineering universities, such as Carnegie Mellon, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. Manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Honeywell, Stryker, and Ford Motor will participate in the partnership.
The initiation of the partnership closely follows the publication of a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Obama had asked the council to examine the state of American manufacturing and evaluate the promise of advanced manufacturing, which he defined in his speech as “how do we do things better, faster, cheaper to design and manufacture superior products that allow us to compete all over the world.” The report called for a national innovation policy that would maintain a good business environment, encourage the domestic development of new technologies, and give technologybased enterprises the infrastructure they need to flourish.
Starting this summer, federal agencies will partner with industries to boost manufacturing in areas critical to our national security, according to Obama’s speech. Initial investments will go toward the development of small high-powered batteries, advanced composites, metal fabrication, biomanufacturing, and alternative energy sources.