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Obama Administration Wants Your Input on Advanced Manufacturing

As we told you last week, the Obama Administration is focused on the key role that manufacturing can play in revitalizing the economy.  On Wednesday, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology launched a website to gather input from the public about the future of advanced manufacturing. There you can answer any of the ten questions posed:

Support for new manufacturing technologies

1. Are public-private partnerships (e.g., consortia), in which government jointly funds projects with industry and often academia, a good mechanism to support new manufacturing technologies that are beyond the reach of individual firms? If not, why not?

2. Some advocate the expansion of the mission of the national laboratories to include R&D challenges relevant to a broad range of manufacturing industries. Is this an appropriate strategy? If not, why not?

3. At some federal agencies, an “innovation budget” is established to promote breakthrough discoveries. Should such a budget be established for advanced manufacturing technology? If not, why not?

Support for new manufacturing firms

4. Given the success of some government-industry-university innovation clusters, should the federal government take the lead in establishing additional clusters to support new manufacturing firms, in particular? If not, why not?

5. Should the federal government assist in the formation and advancement of small firms in the advanced manufacturing sector? If not, why not?

6. Do you believe that potentially valuable research at universities is not being fully utilized by industry?  If so, why does this occur, and should federal agencies increase the emphasis on translational research to address this issue? If not, why not?

Support for existing manufacturing firms

7. Should the federal government help form public-private partnerships to perform research on “horizontal,” cross-cutting technology platforms (e.g., modeling, simulation) that are essential, but beyond the reach of individual firms? If not, why not?

8. Should the government generate an international benchmarking effort to compare US manufacturing infrastructures (i.e., technology platforms) with those of competing nations? If not, why not?

9. Should government, in partnership with industry, sponsor programs in manufacturing training and certification at community colleges, technical schools, and colleges to enhance the nation’s workforce? If not, why not?

A national manufacturing strategy

10. Should the President create a national science– and technology–based manufacturing strategy as a pillar of US economic policy? If not, why not? If so, which actions should have highest priority? Which of these are most cost-effective?

You can submit responses to any of the questions by 5:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at http://pcast.ideascale.com.

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