House Science Subcommittees Explore the Future of American Advanced Manufacturing in Recent Hearing

Mar 29, 2019

The House Subcommittees on Research and Technology, and Energy recently held a briefing on advanced manufacturing in the U.S., with special attention paid to the Manufacturing USA Institutes.

Manufacturing USA is a public-private partnership comprised of 14 manufacturing institutes that share a common goal of bolstering the nation’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, along with strengthening workforce development programs, and research and development.

Mike Molnar, Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was a key witness. In his testimony Molnar highlighted the role the Manufacturing USA institutes are playing to help strengthen the U.S.’s advanced manufacturing acumen, through fostering the development of a broad skill set, with strong workforce development and training programs that will increase U.S. competitiveness in this arena and lead to the development of high-performing, cost-effective manufacturing capabilities. Molnar also touched on other initiatives the institutes support, including the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, which provides small and medium-sized manufacturers with key resources such as how to lower operating costs, improve efficiencies, and find new markets.

As strong as advanced manufacturing in the U.S. currently is, Molnar noted that on the global stage, the U.S. faces competition. Countries with strong manufacturing prowess, such as China and Germany, boast advanced manufacturing initiatives that exceed the 14 institutes of the Manufacturing USA program. Molnar notes that the Fraunhofer, the German advanced manufacturing initiative currently boasts 69 institutions, while China has made manufacturing a key priority with plans for 40 institutes.

“Our country has a great culture of discovery and innovation. And manufacturing is where innovation happens,” Molnar said. “While the United States leads the world in invention and discovery, other nations have focused on developing these emerging technologies for production. Capitalizing on U.S. inventions and promoting the training of an effective workforce is Manufacturing USA’s mission.”

To view an archived webcast of the hearing in full, click here: https://science.house.gov/hearings/revitalizing-american-leadership-in-advanced-manufacturing

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