This chapter summarizes key points made by workshop presenters and discussants. These statements reflect the views and opinions of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Several presenters remarked that the United States needs to locate both its production and innovation domestically to maintain—or reverse the decline of—its competitiveness.
- Willy Shih (Harvard Business School) cited his work with Gary Pisano entitled “Producing Prosperity – Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance,” which has called attention to the link between manufacturing and innovation. During the workshop, he explained that domestic supply chains matter because a decline in domestic infrastructure leads to declines in innovative capacity. He cited China as a country that first started out producing innovative technologies created in the United States, but is now designing and engineering advanced technologies. He cautioned that production outsourcing in thin-film deposition and electronics manufacturing “puts U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage.”
- According to Patrick Gallagher (University of Pittsburgh), the United States needs to get the know-how to make things itself. The Manufacturing USA institutes were established for that purpose and will be of “tremendous value to national security” if these principles are adopted.
- Joseph Fox (Ashland) gave examples of how the states involved in the Manufacturing USA Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) each play a different and unique role tying the
- production capability of the region to new technological innovation. He showed that the partnerships with IACMI in Michigan focus on vehicles, in Tennessee on composite materials and process technology, and in Ohio on compressed gas storage. According to Mr. Fox, “IACMI’s mission is to drive the adoption of advanced composites or carbon fiber composites, which have—so far—been used on the Boeing 787, the BMWi3, and wind turbine blades.”
- Erica Fuchs (Carnegie Mellon University) stated that in moving manufacturing overseas to developing nations, U.S. companies may lose their incentive to pursue the most advanced technologies. She gave examples of optoelectronic semiconductors, automobile bodies, solar technologies and areas of battery technologies where this is happening.
Many presenters argued that networking and collaboration opportunities made possible by Manufacturing USA can yield great benefits.
- According to Willy Shih, government action to spur broad collaborations between business, academia, and government will help reverse the decline in competitiveness. Dr. Shih stated, “In addition to outsourcing lower-valued tasks, companies have been outsourcing sophisticated engineering and manufacturing capabilities that underpin innovation…. This creates a diminished capacity to create new high-tech products.”
- According to Patrick Gallagher, sector consortia can help spur competitiveness because of the creation of sector-alignment, which will spur the sectors’ collective interest. Dr. Gallagher stated that “we saw issues like workforce, supply chain, and other things . . . come in to the [Manufacturing USA] program almost immediately.”
- Ira Moskowitz (Massachusetts Technology Collaborative [MassTech]) explained how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is using the Manufacturing USA institutes to provide connections between entities across the state and leverage state investments. According to Mr. Moskowitz, the institutes provide “convening capability,” which particularly helps small and medium-sized companies. These smaller, high-tech firms are able to leverage state investments and partner with larger firms who are strong members of the Manufacturing USA institutes, national labs, and universities.
- Joseph Fox said that Ashland has a history of university/industry collaborations, starting with the industry/university cooperative research centers. Ashland has gotten involved in the Manufacturing USA institutes because there are multiple universities, companies, and federal labs involved in these collaborations, which leads to better access to technology. Mr. Fox stated, “IACMI offers excellent networking and partnership opportunities. If you look at the IACMI website, there are currently more than 160 members listed. You have the big OEMs
- [original equipment manufacturers] and [companies in the] automotive and wind [industries] and in compressed natural gas storage. You have the fiber suppliers, both carbon and glass. You have all kinds of companies spread throughout the composite value chain. Many are SMEs [small and medium-sized manufacturers]. You have an excellent opportunity to network and partner with companies in the same value chain that you are in.”
- According to Kathleen Kingscott (IBM), IBM recognizes the importance of having the right partners in the innovation space. Partnership groups facilitated by the Manufacturing USA institutes “make a lot of sense” because they include large companies with a broad set of capabilities and project management and smaller players with niche expertise in a technology area that is of value to the larger companies.
Several presenters noted that investments in the advanced manufacturing institutes have thus far been insufficient.
- Patrick Gallagher expressed concern that the program is not at the scale needed. He expressed the fear that the size of the investments in the institutes needed to be much larger.
- Erica Fuchs discussed the scale of investment needed for advanced manufacturing products, explaining that advanced manufacturing capability advances economic growth, “but we are not putting in money at a scale that we have put in the past toward this problem.” She compared the investments in new semiconductor technologies to be “an order of magnitude less than we were making alone for SEMATECH, which was just doing one- to three-year out equipment upgrading.”
- Joseph Fox stated that in addition to IACMI’s current focus areas, the next iteration of IACMI should add infrastructure as a focus area in light of the nation’s pressing need for infrastructure replacement and repair.
Several presenters indicated that it would be useful to have system-wide metrics that align with program goals and take into account the needs and priorities of partners.
- Andrew Schrank (Brown University) stated that the current metrics may provide “perverse or semi-perverse incentives.”
- Kathleen Kingscott said that IBM has its own set of evaluation criteria for the institutes, including what they expect to get out of it, who are the partners, who is bringing what, how much technology IBM is putting in, what is the intellectual property, and what is the time frame.
- Jennifer Hagan-Dier (Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership [MEP]) noted that there is a discrepancy between the metrics and goals
- of the Manufacturing USA institutes and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Many of the presenters said that the institutes would benefit from more time.
- Emily Stover DeRocco (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow [LIFT]) commented that the institutes need more time to mature. She said, “In four-plus years, you cannot be mature enough to understand how to bring to scale initiatives that are largely funded and grassroots-driven in regional economies across this country…”
- According to Jennifer Hagan-Dier, it takes time to launch pilot projects. She stated that “In five years, you are just starting to see things happen. We are making progress across the institutes and across the network, but we cannot stop now.”
- William Bonvillian (Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]) highlighted the need for development time with advanced manufacturing technologies, many of which need more than five years. He stated that “The design around a five-year time frame is obviously problematic on its face.”
- Erica Fuchs described the unique challenges facing the manufacturing sector, including large and patient capital investments. She said that it can take up to 30 years to commercialize advanced materials and processes.
- Andrew Bowd (American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics [AIM Photonics]) commented that advanced technologies “where you are using your imagination” need longer than five years, stating that the additional time “probably applies to all of the institutes here.”
- Ira Moskowitz observed that in his experience it takes at least 10 years to develop disruptive semiconductor technology, noting the need for cycle time in yields, reliability, and cost. He also stated that cutting off funding for the institutes would be “very counterproductive.”