The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a consensus study report, Strategic Long-Term Participation by DoD in its Manufacturing USA Institutes. Over the past 6 years, 14 Manufacturing USA institutes have been established—eight by the Department of Defense (DoD), five by the Department of Energy (DOE), and one by the Department of Commerce (DOC).
To date, more than $3 billion has been invested in establishing and operating the Manufacturing USA institutes, with the three federal agencies committing a total of $1 billion for the first 5 years of each institute, and industry and other non-federal resources providing the remaining $2 billion. DoD has invested $600 million directly in its eight Manufacturing USA institutes with the understanding that the initial federal investment included (1) one-time, start-up funding to establish the institutes within a period of 5 to 7 years and (2) a government share of core funding.
The Committee on Strategic Long-Term Participation by DoD in Its Manufacturing Innovation Institutes assessed the effectiveness of the DoD Manufacturing USA institutes and best ongoing roles for the federal government to ensure optimal benefit to U.S. competitiveness.
This consensus study:
- Focused on the business models used to stand-up and operate, on a long-term basis, the eight DoD institutes;
- Evaluated lessons-learned in developing and implementing the public–private partnerships adopted in those institutes and what changes may be needed;
- Received input regarding alternate public–private partnerships developed in the United States and other countries;
- Evaluated the potential values and costs that would accrue to DoD from further long-term engagement with the institutes under various scenarios and funding structures; and
- Identified topics to be addressed in a follow-on Phase II study.
To effectively mature and transition DoD manufacturing science and technology advances into production, DoD must have access to a robust and responsive U.S. industrial base which is often driven by advanced manufacturing technologies. The Manufacturing USA institutes are considered crucial and game-changing catalysts that are bringing together innovative ecosystems in various technology and market sectors critical to DoD and the nation. The committee fully supports the goals of the DoD Manufacturing USA Strategy, and it makes recommendations to expand the reach, impact and utilization of the Manufacturing USA institutes across the whole of DoD.
Key recommendations of the committee centered around:
- Next Steps Toward Continuation of DoD-Sponsored Institutes: Based on the committee’s finding that the institutes provide value of benefit to DoD goals, the committee recommends that DoD conduct a formal review of each institute to support decisions on renewing, re-competing or canceling current agreements.
- A Long-Term Engagement Model
- Improvements to Institute Operations
For full details on the committee findings and recommendations,