UAH providing support toward workshop on National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

Two students working on an engineHuntsville will be the location for the first public workshop to help devise the design of a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

“Blueprint for Action: Workshop on the Design of the NNMI” will review the design developed from public input received through four public dialogue workshops as well as responses to a Request for Information.

The event is organized by the federal interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), in cooperation with stakeholders and local organizations. The Department of Defense will host the event, and additional support is being provided by NASA and The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

This workshop is scheduled for January 16, 2013 at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

In addition to feedback on the resulting design, this workshop also seeks input on new questions related to the formation and operations of the proposed network’s regional Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama laid out his “blueprint for an economy that's built to last — an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.”

“This blueprint,” he said, “begins with American manufacturing.”

In his budget for fiscal year 2013, the President proposes creating a network of up to 15 regional Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs). Funded by a proposed one-time, $1 billion investment, this network—he NNMI—responds to a crucial competitiveness challenge and threat to future prosperity by closing the gap between research and development (R&D) activities and the deployment of technological innovations in domestic production of goods.

In early January, the AMNPO intends to publish a draft NNMI “concept paper” that presents the office’s preliminary design proposal on the objectives, organization, governance, operations, and activities of the network and its institutes. The proposed design draws on input from more than 800 people and organizations through participation in four regional workshops or ideas submitted on the NNMI design in response to the formal information request issued last May by the AMNPO.

The proposed design also draws on recommendations contained in several reviews of the nation’s manufacturing and innovation performance, including the recent report by the presidentially appointed Steering Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. That report, endorsed in July by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, called for the creation of “public-private partnerships to foster regional ecosystems in advanced manufacturing technologies.”

As envisioned, the NNMI will be a network of regional hubs—each anchored by an IMI—that will connect technologically promising research discoveries and ideas for advanced, high-value-added products with existing U.S. manufacturers and aspiring start-up firms. Regional collaborations will bring together industry, universities, federal agencies and states to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications and to support education and training of an advanced manufacturing workforce.

While each of the competitively selected IMIs will have its own technical focus, all will integrate capabilities and facilities required to reduce the cost and risk of commercializing new technologies and to address relevant manufacturing challenges on a production-level scale.

Capacity is limited. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, with no more than four representatives from the same organization. The registration fee is $50 per attendee, which covers attendee materials and meal and beverage costs.

AMNPO partner agencies include the Department of Commerce and its National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office, Department of Labor, NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Event sign-in and breakfast will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. CST, on January 16, 2013. Attendees must sign-in upon their arrival at the information desk located in the lobby of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration (not the lobby of the main museum). Attendees will receive badges and workshop materials.

The workshop will begin at 8:30 AM CST and conclude at approximately 4:30 PM Eastern time. A preliminary agenda will be posted prior to the event.


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