April 15, 2016
Capitol Update

In this issue:


Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that a leading consortium of 89 manufacturers, universities, and non-profits organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will spearhead a new manufacturing innovation institute in partnership with the Department of Defense focused on securing U.S. leadership in revolutionary fibers and textiles manufacturing.

The new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Cambridge, MA, will combine over $75 million of Federal resources with nearly $250 million of non-Federal investment in innovative fabrics and textiles with novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength and containing electronic sensors. With wide-ranging applications, these technical textiles can forge protective gear for firefighters impervious to the hottest flames, replicate the sensing capabilities of a smart watch into a lightweight fabric, or detect when a wounded soldier needs to be treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage.

This new institute is the eighth manufacturing hub to be awarded by the Obama Administration, building on the President’s vision to create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) of at least 15 hubs across the country during his Administration. Collectively, the Federal government’s commitment of nearly $600 million to the eight awarded institutes has been matched by over $1.2 billion in non-Federal investment from across industry, academia, and state governments. The institutes, each led by manufacturing experts renowned in their field, have attracted over 800 companies, universities, and non-profits as members of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

In addition to the manufacturing institute award, the Obama Administration also released a new report providing a snapshot of federal priorities across 13 agencies for research and development investment in advanced manufacturing technologies. The President’s FY2017 Budget aims to increase manufacturing research and development by 40 percent (since 2011) by proposing to further grow federal investment in manufacturing technologies to $2.1 billion. To read the report, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/Blog/NSTC%20SAM%20technology%20areas%20snapshot.pdf

Additional information is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/04/01/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-new-revolutionary-fibers-and?utm_source=SSTI+Weekly+Digest&utm_campaign=16fad0aa41-SSTI_Weekly_Digest_4_7_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ecf5992d4c-16fad0aa41-212419933


On April 12th, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to examine the status of innovative technologies in advanced manufacturing, including:

  • Compressed Gas Storage Technology
  • Design Modeling and Simulation Technology
  • Composite Material and Processing Technology
  • Wind Turbine Technology
  • Vehicle Technology.

Jobs in advanced manufacturing sectors employ almost 24 million people in the United States, or approximately 13 percent of the nation’s workforce. Advanced manufacturing also accounts for about 19 percent of the nation’s GDP, with an overall economic impact of around $3.1 trillion per year.

While advanced manufacturing merits greater attention, the U.S. also needs to do a better job of preparing a workforce for the high-quality jobs these industries are creating. With two million manufacturing jobs projected to be perpetually unfilled by 2025, there is a growing skills gap in the country that must be addressed.

The hearing also sought to inform the committee about the significant innovation taking place in advanced manufacturing, a “look down the road.” It was an opportunity to hear about technologies that are emerging, to gauge how they might affect the nation’s  energy and mineral needs, and workforce development issues, and then to understand the challenges that need to be overcome.

The hearing also examined whether federal programs meant to support innovation are working as intended, and whether they are properly oriented to help the nation’s advanced manufacturing industries innovate, compete, and thrive.

Prepared testimony from each of the witnesses, as well as an archived webcast of the hearing, are available at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=5FA065BF-1AEC-4260-AD42-198741922DF9

Additional information is available at: http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/senate-committee-holds-hearing-to-examine-the-status-of-innovative-technologies-in-advanced-manufacturing/


The United States is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation, moving China into the number two position by 2020, according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and the Council on Competitiveness (Council). The rankings also reveal a shift among the world’s traditional manufacturing powerhouses due to the Asia Pacific region’s rising influence and declining strength in European and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

Major highlights of the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI) include:

  • The US projected to take number one spot by end of decade;
  • The US improved its ranking from 4th in 2010 to 2nd in this year’s study and is expected to reach number one by 2020;
  • As the US invests heavily in talent and technology, the nation ranks highest as an advanced manufacturing economy. The country is highly competitive in terms of the share of high skill and technology contribution to exports and labor productivity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP);
  • The US continues to position itself among the global leaders in research and development (R&D) activities by investing in top universities, R&D talent and venture capital;
  • Among the BRIC countries, only China is viewed as a top manufacturing nation in 2016. The other three–Brazil, Russia, and India–have seen continuous declines in the study’s rankings over the past six years, despite aspirations that they may emerge as manufacturing goliaths;
  • The two regions are expected to dominate the competitive landscape in the next four years: All three North American countries (US, Canada, and Mexico) in today’s top 10 remain there in the 2020 outlook; five Asia-Pacific nations (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and India) factor into the study’s top 10 in 2020;
  • The US stands out as the anchor for the North American region with the highest level of manufacturing investments, a strong energy profile, and high-quality talent, infrastructure and innovation. Canada’s low tradebarriers, tariff-free zone and investments in sectors key to its growing high-tech manufacturing future, along with Mexico’s 40 free trade agreements, low labor costs and close proximity to the US round out the region;
  • European nations are lagging behind as they work through sluggish economic recovery efforts and look to their anchors, Germany and the United Kingdom, to pull them ahead; and,
  • Most European nations, aside from the two anchors, are expected to slip in overall global manufacturing competitiveness rankings in next five years.

More information about the study can be found at: http://ppec.asme.org/key-issues/manufacturing-innovation-competitiveness/


The ASME Fluids Engineering Division (FED) is sponsoring the Young Engineer Paper (YEP) Contest for the ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE), to take place from Nov. 11 to 17 in Phoenix, AZ. Engineering students and recent graduates have until April 25 to submit an abstract and enter the competition.

The competition is open to undergraduate students, baccalaureate engineers who graduated after April 2015, and graduate students who began their studies after April 2015. As many as five selected finalists will be invited to present their papers at a special session to be held at the IMECE 2016, where final judging and selection will take place. The author of the paper chosen as the first-prize winner at IMECE will be awarded $500, while the authors of the second- and third-place papers will receive $300 and $200, respectively. Honorable mention awards of $100 will be presented to the remaining finalists.

Authors should submit an abstract of 500 words or fewer describing their research papers, which should focus on a fluids engineering topic and may be the result of a project completed either at a university or in industry. Based on the abstract, contestants will be invited to submit full-length papers, which will be formally reviewed by the FED Young Engineer Paper Contest Committee, according to criteria including technical merit, paper quality, and adherence to YEP Contest entry requirements.

Based on the recommendations of the reviewing committee, selected finalists will have an opportunity to revise their papers prior to final submission. The revised final papers, incorporating reviewers’ comments and recommendations, will be published in the conference proceedings after they have been presented at IMECE.

To enter the contest, authors should submit their abstracts by April 25th to Dr. B. Terry Beck, 3002 Rathbone Hall, Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5205; telephone (785) 532-2604; fax (785) 532-7057; e-mail tbeck@ksu.edu

For more details on the Young Engineer Paper Contest, visit www.asme.org/events/imece/program/young-engineer-paper-contest

To learn more about the 2016 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, visit www.asme.org/events/imece

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