Obama Announces Winners of Federal Manufacturing Competitions
President Barack Obama recently announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy.
The winning coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, brings together a consortium of 200 partners from across academia, industry, and non-profits to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing.
The new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the ninth institute awarded under U.S. government auspices.
The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will also launch five regional manufacturing centers across the United States each focused on local technology transfer and workforce development. UCLA will lead the California regional center, in partnership with the city of Los Angeles. Texas A&M University will lead the gulf coast center and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will lead the northeast center, where glass, ceramic and microelectronic manufacturing has a strong presence. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead a hub in the northwest and North Carolina State University will spearhead a regional hub for the southeast.
The president also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies from collaborative robotics to biofabrication of cells and tissues, to revolutionizing the ways materials can be reused and recycled.
With the new competitions underway, the administration is on track to meet the president’s goal of 15 institutes underway across the country before the end of his administration.
“After a decade of decline from 2000 to 2010,” a White House announcement said, “the U.S. manufacturing sector has added over 800,000 jobs since February 2010 and remains more competitive for jobs and investment today compared to recent decades. Last month, a new survey of CEOs from around the world declared the United States the most attractive country for investment for the fourth year in a row.”