Manufacturing USA® institutes are designed to build innovation ecosystems and accelerate technology development and workforce development in critical technology areas. A new law reinforces the institutes’ importance to our national security and economic competitiveness and encourages creation of new advanced manufacturing institutes. The potential expansion of the initiative is intended to boost U.S. global competitiveness in key sectors.
The law encourages existing, third-party entities which do not have federal sponsorship to apply for recognition and join the Manufacturing USA network as potential ‘alliance institutes.’ After recognition such entities would still not be federally sponsored, but they would be eligible to apply for any available public service grants.
This is seen as a competitive advantage, as international competition has increased and our model in the U.S. is being replicated overseas.
Benefits to potential alliance members and existing institutes include: affiliation with the Manufacturing USA brand, signaling participation in an important national initiative; exchange ideas and best practices; fill advanced manufacturing gaps in the U.S. needs; scale-up talent efforts; reach and serve more small and medium-sized manufacturers across the nation; expand technology coverage; leverage “whole of economy” resources; increase innovation collaboration; and access shared services.
Public Input Will Shape Future Directions
The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, which coordinates with other federal agencies on Manufacturing USA, is seeking public input. In particular, the office requests feedback on risks, the proposed application process for alliance members, and responses to questions including: eligibility and evaluation criteria, funding opportunities for alliance members, and requirements for the alliance members.