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White House Unveils Manufacturing Partnership, Investments


President Obama speaks at Carnegie Mellon University

President Barack Obama delivers remarks following a tour of the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh today, President Obama launched an initiative that aims to invest in emerging technologies leading to high quality manufacturing jobs. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) is expected to combine resources from industry, universities, and the federal government to encourage progress in information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, and other advancements that can help U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development.

The President’s plan, according to a White House statement, will use funds from existing programs and proposals to invest nearly $600 million on AMP. Investments will be made in building domestic manufacturing capabilities in national security industries; reducing the time needed to make advanced materials used in manufacturing products; establishing a next-generation of robotics; increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes; and developing new technologies that will reduce the time needed to design, build, and test manufactured goods.

“We’ve launched an all-hands-on-deck effort between our brightest academic minds, some of our boldest business leaders, and our most dedicated public servants from science and technology agencies,” said the president, “all with one big goal, and that is a renaissance of American manufacturing.”

AMP will be led by Andrew Liveris, Chairman, President, and CEO of Dow Chemical, and Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Universities involved in AMP will be Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and University of Michigan.  The manufacturers taking part in AMP include Allegheny Technologies, Caterpillar, Corning, Dow Chemical, Ford, Honeywell, Intel, Johnson and Johnson, Northrop Grumman, Procter and Gamble, and Stryker.

In conjunction with AMP, the president announced four sets of investments that redirect currently authorized funds into manufacturing-related programs:

Manufacturing capabilities in national security industries. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and others will co-invest with industry $300 million manufacturing capabilities essential to our national security, including small high-powered batteries, advanced composites, metal fabrication, bio-manufacturing, and alternative energy.

Reducing time to develop and deploy advanced materials. The Materials Genome Initiative is expected to invest more than $100 million in research, training and infrastructure to enable U.S. companies to develop and manufacture advanced materials at twice the speed than is possible today, at a fraction of the cost.

Next-generation robotics. National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Agriculture will make available today $70 million to support research in next generation robots, to enhance the capabilities of factory workers, health care providers, soldiers, surgeons, and astronauts to carry out difficult or dangerous tasks.

Energy-efficient manufacturing processes. Department of Energy will launch a $120 million effort to develop manufacturing processes and materials that help companies cut the costs of manufacturing, while using less energy.

Read more: Federal, Corporate Grants to Fund Manufacturing Technology

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