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White House Announces Advanced Manufacturing and Research Initiative

June 29, 2011

President Barack Obama recently announced the creation of a national Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) to accelerate the development of manufacturing technologies at top engineering universities. The AMP initiative, which was developed based on recommendations from a report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), would leverage existing programs and proposals to invest more than $500 million in university and private R&D. The partnership is being called an "umbrella" for federal innovation programs.

Funding for the effort would support federal research and research at universities and private companies that could help invent, deploy and scale next-generation technologies. Through the programs associated with the AMP initiative, the federal government would invest in four key technology development areas, including:

  • building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries;
  • reducing the time to develop and deploy advanced materials;
  • investing in next-generation robotics; and,
  • developing innovative energy efficient manufacturing processes.

Under the AMP banner, Commerce would invest $12 million in FY12 to identify public-private partnerships to address common barriers to product development.

Read the announcement at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/24/president-obama-launches-advanced-manufacturing-partnership.

Much of the design of the AMP effort was the result of recommendations from PCAST. On the same day as the AMP announcement, PCAST released its Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing, which included details about how to implement a national advanced manufacturing initiative. The report focuses on advanced manufacturing because of its potential to create high-quality jobs and to maintain overall U.S. competitiveness. The key recommendation is the creation of an advanced manufacturing public-private partnership to coordinate federal support for industry and academic applied research. PCAST's description of such an initiative closely resembles the new AMP.

Two further recommendations are provided in the report. First, the federal government should improve tax policy by reforming corporate income taxes to bring them in line with other OECD countries and by making the R&D tax credit permanent. The R&D tax credit should also be raised to 17 percent, as indicated in the president's Strategy for Innovation and the FY12 budget request. Second, the federal government should implement the president's plan to double the research budgets of key science agencies, and ensure that public and private R&D investment reach 3 percent of GDP. By increasing research investment, strengthening STEM education and expanding the number of high-skilled foreign workers that can be employed in the U.S., PCAST suggests that the nation could reinvigorate its innovation workforce.

Read the report at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-advanced-manufacturing-june2011.pdf

manufacturing, white house, policy recommendations