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Innovation, R&D and IP


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Back to Manufacturing Reports

Featured Report: 

June 2019
Research shows SBIR/STTR grants play a critical role in translating research and development (R&D) into commercially successful companies that would not happen otherwise. SBIR/STTR grants could, in theory, provide critical initial investment for many communities outside the large investment hubs and/or disadvantaged high-tech entrepreneurs who struggle to access private capital. But is America’s Seed Fund meeting these goals, in practice? To answer this question, the authors explored the distribution of grant awards from 2005 to 2017 using the SBIR/STTR award database. Categories: Innovation, Federal and Industry Collaboration


Policies to Improve US Competitiveness, Spring 2020 Conference Papers – April 2020

The IU Manufacturing Policy Initiative, in partnership with the Hudson Institute, organized a spring 2020 conference, to bring together leading thinkers to identify concerning trends and discuss policies that will enable domestic manufacturing to remain internationally competitive. The conference was postponed due to the emerging pandemic. Four academic papers from noted experts were commissioned for this conference. Taken together, these four papers describe weaknesses in U.S. manufacturing capabilities and identify specific policies to improve U.S. competitiveness. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Smart Manufacturing:  A Primer for Small Manufacturers – March 2020

The purpose of this report is to help SMMs focus on realistic objectives achievable with appropriate implementation of digital technologies to cut costs, improve existing processes, and lay the groundwork for continued progress. It is also important to recognize that the biggest hurdles to effective implementation are not likely to be technical, but rather managerial and cultural. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Productivity

The Work of the Future: Shaping Technology and Institutions – November 2019

MIT President Rafael Reif convened the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in the spring of 2018. Its goals are to understand the relationships between emerging technologies and work, and to explore strategies to enable a future of shared prosperity.  This report will not provide definitive answers, but instead aims to enable decision-makers to ask the right questions. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Manufacturing Scorecard 2019 – November 2019

The 2019 Manufacturing and Logistics National Report shows how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. These specific measures include: manufacturing and logistics industry health, human capital, cost of worker benefits, diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, tax climate, and global reach. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Robotics and the Future of Production and Work – October 2019

This paper examines the nature and prospects of robotics and associated production technologies, reviews the literature on their impact on spatial dynamics, reviews recent data on robotic adoption, including controlling for robot adoption rates by domestic worker compensation rates, and speculates on future trends in the spatial distribution of manufacturing. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and WorkforceRegulatory and Policy RecommendationsSupply Chain

Manufacturing goes digital: Smart factories have the potential to spark labor productivity – September 2019

In this article, Deloitte discusses how smart factory initiatives could have a significant impact on manufacturing productivity. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Productivity

Standards for the Digital Economy: Creating an Architecture for Data Collection, Access and Analytics – September 2019

Canadian industry and thought leaders view digitization as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the economy; digitization can also improve the delivery of services such as health care. In order to achieve this vision, new data value chains are needed. Data value chains would allow participants in existing supply chains to share data, gain new insights, solve problems and become more efficient. Standards are required to clarify the roles and responsibilities of participants in data value chains regarding data collection and grading, data access and sharing, as well as data analytics and solutions. Standards are also necessary to achieve interoperability and set appropriate benchmarks regarding data governance — both necessary preconditions for data sharing between organizations. Categories: Innovation,  Global Competitiveness, Supply Chain

The Manufacturing Evolution – How AI Will Transform Manufacturing & the Workforce of the Future – August 2019

For manufacturing enterprises, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) will reshape the source of value creation, the formation of new business models, and the delivery of value-added services such as mass customization, predictive maintenance, and “product servitization” (i.e., the process of building revenue streams for manufacturers from services related to your products). As AI becomes more prevalent in various aspects of business management and operations, investing in people will become even more important. AI and automation will not displace people but rather combine their capabilities in new ways to create new forms of value and new opportunities. The manufacturers that identify how to empower their workforces through AI applications will create the greatest value going forward. This report includes key findings and recommendations to guide manufacturers in the next leg of the transformative journey with artificial intelligence and their workforce. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Education and WorkforceProductivity

The Future of Work in America – People and places, today and tomorrow – July 2019

Much of the research on automation has focused on the potential for job displacement and has taken a national-level view. This report looks beneath the national numbers to examine the present and potential future of work for different people and places across America. Local economies across the country have been on diverging trajectories for years, and they are entering the automation age from different starting points. This report incorporates the current state of local labor markets as well as the jobs that could be lost and gained in the decade ahead. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce

Growing cities that work for all: A capability-based approach to regional economic competitiveness – May 2019

Although today’s U.S. labor market is strong and unemployment is low, many working-age American remain marginalized. As communities across the country grapple with the challenges of an ever-evolving labor market, this report provides a framework for local leaders to grow good jobs through industrial development strategies that are based on their regions’ unique capabilities. Categories: Innovation,  Global CompetitivenessEducation and Workforce

Smart Factories:  Issues of Information Governance – March 2019

Smart manufacturing depends critically on information governance: rules (formal and informal) concerning the collection, flow, and analysis of information, often in digital form. To explore information governance issues in depth, the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University hosted a roundtable event in Washington, DC, with executives from nearly 20 manufacturers. Policy experts from academia were asked to contribute to papers on specific topics including AI in manufacturing, technical standards, cybersecurity and privacy, and digital trade. This report includes the papers and the discussions from the event. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global CompetitivenessFederal and Industry CollaborationBest Practices

Industry 4.0: Redefining How Mid‑Market Manufacturers Derive and Deliver Value – March 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—Industry 4.0—calls into question the very definition of manufacturing, blurring the lines between tangible and intangible, digital and physical, product and service. At its core, Industry 4.0 redefines how manufacturers derive and deliver value. According to BDO’s 2019 Middle Market Industry 4.0 Benchmarking Survey, 99 percent of middle market manufacturing executives today are at least moderately familiar with Industry 4.0. Yet, despite all its potential to create value, only 5 percent are currently implementing—or have implemented—an Industry 4.0 strategy. It is BDO's hope that this benchmarking survey can help inform conversations among decision-makers when it comes to planning and focusing in specific areas along your Industry 4.0 journey. It’s intended to give middle market manufacturers a useful barometer to measure Industry 4.0 maturity, including strategic planning, technology integration, organizational readiness and key challenges.  Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Supply Chain

Fourth Industrial Revolution Beacons of Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing – January 2019

Many companies are piloting Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives in manufacturing, but few have managed to integrate Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale to realize significant economic and financial benefits. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, scanned more than 1,000 leading manufacturers. Subsequent outreach enabled visits to the most advanced sites and identification of the few factories that are true guiding lights in the context of Fourth Industrial Revolution production: lighthouses. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Education and WorkforceProductivity

Towards an AI Economy That Works for All – February 2019

The Keystone Research Center released the first report of a project funded by The Heinz Endowments on the Future of Work, with analysis of artificial intelligence (AI) and earlier far-reaching technological change, and with policy options for America’s fast-changing economy. The report concludes optimistically: AI need not increase economic inequality in the United States and provides an opportunity to revisit the orientation of US policy to ensure the opposite result. The new report, Towards an AI Economy That Works for All, analyzes AI’s likely impacts by examining past impacts of technology, including robotics and information technology, on the economy and jobs. It also considers how AI does—and does not—go beyond previous technologies and substitute for human capacities and intelligence. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce, Productivity

2018 State Technology and Science Index (STSI) Sustaining America’s Innovation Economy – 2018

The State Technology and Science Index (STSI) endeavors to benchmark states on their science and technology capabilities and broader commercialization ecosystems that contribute to firm expansion, high-skills job creation, and broad economic growth. It aims to capture a state’s innovation pipeline. The index looks ahead, assessing the foundation on which future growth will build and focusing attention on the elements of a knowledge economy that will help states adapt to economic change. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce

The Digitization of the World From Edge to Core – November 2018

The data-driven world will be always on, always tracking, always monitoring, always listening, and always watching – because it will be always learning. Data is at the heart of digital transformation, the lifeblood of this digitization process. This study by IDC, looks into how companies are leveraging data to improve customer experiences, open new markets, make employees and processes more productive, and create new sources of competitive advantage – working toward the future of tomorrow. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Productivity

The State of the Heartland Factbook 2018 – October 2018

The State of the Heartland: Factbook 2018 benchmarks the performance of the 19-state American “Heartland” on 26 socioeconomic measures and is intended to help Heartland leaders and citizens better comprehend the region’s current trajectory at a time of rapid economic and social change. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce

The Rise of the Internet of Goods A New Perspective on the Digital Future for Manufacturers – August 2018

This report focuses on an emerging alternative digital future for manufacturing, the “Internet of Goods." Three trends could lead to a manufacturing sector that uses information technology to boost productivity and create new markets.

  1. The rise of ecommerce fulfillment centers and the digitization of distribution, pioneered by Amazon, opens up new ways for manufacturers to shift from a warehousemodel to a more flexible distribution process.
  2. The growth of robots and 3D printing, which give manufacturers the ability to offer customized products that are superior in some dimensions to mass production and can be delivered quickly and cheaply.
  3. The use of cloud computing to build manufacturing platforms that treat design, production, sales, and distribution as separate services running on a packet-switched network, enabling even small factories to tap into new technology and best practices. This combination of digitized distribution, digitized production, and new manufacturing platforms—aka the “Internet of Goods”—will allow the creation of new business models for manufacturing capable of expanding the market and changing the geography of production.

Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Productivity, Supply Chain

Manufacturing Digitalization: Extent of Adoption and Recommendations for Increasing Penetration in Korea and the U.S. – August 2018

This report first defines digital manufacturing technologies. It then assesses the potential productivity and economic benefits smart manufacturing can produce. It next examines the extent of manufacturing digitalization in the United States. It finds first that data on the topic is sporadic, incomplete, and at this point primarily survey-based. Second, it finds that, for all manufacturing digitalization’s promise, U.S. manufacturers—especially small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the 250,000 of which account for 98 percent of all U.S. manufacturers—have been particularly slow to adopt digital manufacturing practices, with most companies remaining just at the initial stages of smart manufacturing technology adoption. After examining the available data on U.S. smart manufacturing adoption and investment (in both fixed and digital assets), the report turns to an analysis of how the U.S. federal government and leading states are enacting policies and programs to facilitate manufacturers’ digital transformation journeys. The report concludes by proposing additional policy recommendations that go beyond the current state of practice in the United States and then focuses on how Korea can echo these. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Federal and Industry CollaborationRegulatory and Policy RecommendationsBest Practices

The Work Ahead Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century – April 2018

The world is in the midst of a transformation in the nature of work, as smart machines, artificial intelligence, new technologies, and global competition remake how people do their jobs and pursue their careers. The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century, the report of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, assesses the future of work and workers and the implications for the U.S. economy and national security. Categories: Innovation, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Why Manufacturing Digitalization Matters and How Countries Are Supporting It – April 2018

This report explains how digitalization is transforming manufacturing globally, detailing what exactly smart manufacturing (or “Industry 4.0”) is and examining the productivity impacts that digitalized manufacturing promises to deliver. The report examines the small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) manufacturing support programs and policies of ten nations—Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and provides insights countries can leverage to support the digitalization of their manufacturers. The report further examines how the development of common standards can facilitate technology adoption and proposes a typology that helps conceptualize different manufacturing production systems and strategies, showing how these need to be supported by varying digital toolsets. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global CompetitivenessFederal and Industry Collaboration

Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization – November 2017

Technological and economic changes have created new opportunities in small-scale manufacturing and the “maker” economy, presenting a chance for communities to make progress on several important economic development issues. Small-scale manufacturing can grow local entrepreneurship and small business, develop or enhance new and existing economic sectors, and revitalize downtowns and business districts. Using tools and case studies, this whitepaper builds the case for why economic development practitioners should be thinking about working with small-scale manufacturers, how to grow the sector, and the particular synergies that are created when locating these businesses in downtowns and mixed use centers. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Education of WorkforceRegulatory and Policy RecommendationsSupply Chain

The 2017 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the States – November 2017

The State New Economy Index uses 25 indicators to measure the extent to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-oriented. Categories:  Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

CLEARER SIGNALS Building an Employer-Led Job Registry for Talent Pipeline Management – October 2017

Employers today are struggling to fill open positions because of a growing skills gap. Many have argued that the skills gap is caused, in part, by an inability of employers to signal their hiring requirements consistently and at scale in a rapidly changing talent marketplace. Prior attempts to improve employer signaling have been met with limited success. Employer signaling will remain elusive and the skills gap will continue to grow unless employers have the tools needed to provide clearer signals in talent markets especially to their education, training, and credentialing partners. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s (USCCF’s) Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) initiative is exploring how employers can close the skills gap by improving how they communicate or “signal” their hiring requirements. Based on lessons learned from TPM, the USCCF now proposes to develop and pilot test an employer-led job registry service that can assist employers and their HR technology partner. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce

The Next Production Revolution Implications for Governments and Business – May 2017

This publication examines the opportunities and challenges, for business and government, associated with technologies bringing about the “next production revolution”. These include a variety of digital technologies (e.g. the Internet of Things and advanced robotics), industrial biotechnology, 3D printing, new materials and nanotechnology. Some of these technologies are already used in production, while others will be available in the near future. All are developing rapidly. As these technologies transform the production and the distribution of goods and services, they will have far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, income distribution, well-being and the environment. The more that governments and firms understand how production could develop in the near future, the better placed they will be to address the risks and reap the benefits. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Concept to Commercialization:  The Best Universities for Technology Transfer – April 2017

Innovative activities – and their commercial applications – are driving long-term economic growth in America. While industry energizes innovation through research and development (R&D) initiatives, the main catalyst that fuels knowledge-based growth once again lies where it started: the American research university. As new, bi-directional information exchanges open up between academic and industry researchers – as opposed to past linear models – more commercially attuned knowledge exchange is shared, leading to a rise in entrepreneurial success and economic impact.  The Milken Institute released a report ranking more than 200 U.S. universities for their ability to turn their research into products and startup companies. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce

THE COMING PRODUCTIVITY BOOM — Transforming the Physical Economy with Information – March 2017

The Technology CEO Council commissioned this analysis to better understand how new technologies can catalyze growth and what policy makers can do to accelerate these positive trends while making sure their benefits are realized by more Americans. They believe smart public policies will hasten the diffusion of these technologies and enable innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. Policy innovations are likewise critical to maximizing the number of citizens able to reap the rewards of these extraordinary opportunities. Categories: Innovation, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

Cyber Risk in Advanced Manufacturing – November 2016

MAPI and Deloitte collaborated on a study to identify cyber risks in advanced manufacturing. The study examines: the current state of cyber risks facing manufacturers; emerging risks likely to materialize as a result of rapid technology change; and leading strategies that manufacturers employ to address cyber risks. This study delves into executive and board-level engagement, human capital, intellectual property protection, risks in industrial control systems (ICS), evolving connected products, risks in the industrial ecosystem, and the rapidly changing nature of cyber threats.  Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce

Prototyping Equity – September 2016

Cities are finding that supporting manufacturing can help build the urban economy, improve economic equity, and support minority job creation.  Urban manufacturing can help counter the trends in land use, global trade and technology that are eroding middle class jobs.  This report focuses on the results of EIE's launched pilot programs in four cities to explore how to seed equitable economic development in manufacturing. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Education and Workforce

America’s Advanced Industries: New Trends – August 2016

Leaders across the country continue to seek ways to reenergize the American economy. To support those efforts, this report provides an update on the changing momentum and geography of America’s advanced industries sector—a group of 50 R&D- and STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics)-worker intensive industries the vitality of which will be essential for supporting any broadly shared prosperity in U.S. regions. This report finds that high-value economic growth in the United States is heavily reliant on just seven industries. While the advanced industries sector continues to grow overall in spite of slowing demand worldwide, three auto manufacturing and four high-tech digital services industries are now responsible for two-thirds of that growth.   Trends revealed in this report support the need for federal and state-local strategies focused on boosting growth and reach. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce

The Future of Manufacturing: 2020 and Beyond – July 2016

This joint research study between IndustryWeek Custom Research and Kronos focuses on manufacturing strategy, management practices and investment priorities over the next five years and beyond. While U.S. manufacturing employment has declined over the past 25 years, the future outlook is bright. Taken alone, the U.S. manufacturing sector would be the ninth-largest economy in the world, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. This research report details the leadership priorities and investments that U.S. manufacturers are making in new systems, equipment and people to remain globally competitive through 2020 and beyond. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Enhancing National Laboratory Partnership and Commercialization Opportunities – July 2016

This report discusses challenges to national laboratory partnerships and commercialization, and highlights selected DOE and national laboratory initiatives that address these challenges.  Partnership and commercialization initiatives are ever evolving as laboratories increasingly experiment with new ideas and as these ideas are tested and refined.  The report offers a number of recommendations that could add value to the innovative initiatives featured, and provide DOE and national laboratories with other suggestions. Categories: Innovation, Federal and Industry Collaboration

Advanced Manufacturing: A Snapshot of Priority Technology Areas Across the Federal Government - April 2016

Advanced manufacturing drives long-term economic prosperity and growth, and supports the missions of the Federal agencies  participating  in  the  NSTC  Subcommittee  for  Advanced  Manufacturing (SAM). A foundation of priority technology areas is needed to secure U.S. competitiveness in this sector, from which collaborations between government,  industry,  and  academia  may  be  built. This  document  captures technology areas in advanced manufacturing that are current priorities for the Federal Government, and are  strong  candidates  for focused Federal  investment  and  public-private  collaboration. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation

Manufacturing's Next Act - June 2015

The focus of this article is on Industry 4.0, the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector. It reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. Most of these digital technologies have been brewing for some time. Some are not yet ready for application at scale. But many are now at a point where their greater reliability and lower cost are starting to make sense for industrial applications. However, companies are not consistently aware of the emerging technologies. Manufacturers should begin today to join the hunt for the best digital talent, and think about how to structure their digital organization. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Best Practices, Productivity, Supply Chain

U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective – March 2015

The health of the U.S. manufacturing sector has long been of great concern to many stakeholders including Congress. The decline in manufacturing employment since the dawn of the 21st century has stimulated particular interest and various policy prescriptions. Those advocating for renewed attention on manufacturing argue that the United States is falling behind other countries across a broad set of measures and they argue that this relative decline can be mitigated or reversed by government policy. This report informs the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics. Understanding which trends in manufacturing reflect factors that may be unique to the United States and which are related to broader changes in technology or consumer preferences may be helpful in formulating policies intended to aid firms or workers engaged in manufacturing activity. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce

Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report: How Advanced Manufacturing is Helping U.S. Companies Compete Globally – March 2015

More than half of manufacturing leaders are planning to invest in advanced manufacturing technologies in the next two years, according to SME's Advanced Manufacturing Media. The findings are part of the organization's Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report, which highlights results of a survey of manufacturing executives, engineers and managers on why companies are investing in and using advanced manufacturing technologies such as industrial robotics and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. See more at Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Best Practices, Productivity

America's Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter – February 2015

At a critical moment, this report asserts the special importance to America's future of what the paper calls America's "advanced industries" sector. Characterized by its deep involvement with technology research and development (R&D) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers, the sector encompasses 50 industries ranging from manufacturing industries such as automaking and aerospace to energy industries such as oil and gas extraction to high-tech services such as computer software and computer system design, including for health applications. These industries encompass the nation's "tech" sector at its broadest and most consequential. Their dynamism is going to be a central component of any future revitalized U.S. economy. As such, these industries encompass the country's best shot at supporting innovative, inclusive, and sustainable growth. For that reason, this report provides a wide-angle overview of the advanced industry sector that reviews its role in American prosperity, assesses key trends, and maps its metropolitan and global competitive standing before outlining high-level strategies to enhance that. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Advanced Technologies Initiative Manufacturing & Innovation – 2015

Deloitte and the Council on Competitiveness (Council), as part of their multi-year Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative, embarked on the Advanced Technologies Initiative study to better understand the US innovation ecosystem, identify the most promising technologies impacting the manufacturing industry, as well as understand current and future trends in US and global scientific research and development (R&D). They interviewed nearly three dozen chief technology officers, chief research officers, chief executive officers, and company presidents from the manufacturing sector, as well as nearly a dozen directors of US national laboratories and research facilities. A set of high-priority recommendations were developed detailing immediate and longterm critical needs to improve the national innovation ecosystem vital to sustaining US competitiveness. Highlights from the study include: The linkages between national prosperity and advanced technologies, manufacturing and the innovation ecosystem; Global R&D trends and America's relative position; Opportunities as well as challenges for US industry; An Industry Innovation Playbook. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness

The New Hire: How a New Generation of Robots is Transforming Manufacturing – September 2014

To get a better grasp on how US manufacturers are enlisting robots in their production lines—and future plans—PwC carried out a survey of 120 manufacturers. They found that while the majority of respondents have already adopted robotics technology, there still exists real barriers for those which have yet to do so, citing limitations such as cost, the lack of perceived need, and expertise and skills needed to properly exploit them. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Strengthening Regional Relationships to Support Manufacturing: 10 Successful Initiatives – August 2014

This report examines ten ongoing regional initiatives that support manufacturers. Drawing on a diverse group of individual case studies, the report identifies the key partners and their roles, the resources they accessed, the impact of the effort, and the prospects for the future. In particular, the case studies often note the many roles that the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) centers are playing in the success of these efforts. The report is intended to stimulate thinking among economic development leaders about what they can do to support their own region's manufacturing sector. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Education and Workforce, Sustainability

Shale Gas: A Game Changer for U.S. Manufacturing – July 2014

A country is only as strong as its capacity to build. Managed properly, the availability of low-cost shale gas could catalyze a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing, revitalizing the chemical industry and enhancing the global competitiveness of energy-intensive manufacturing sectors such as aluminum, steel, paper, glass, and food. This report summarizes and expands upon the University of Michigan-sponsored daylong Symposium "Shale Gas: A Game- Changer for American Manufacturing," held on March 28, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Symposium's purpose: to explore how the shale gas boom can be used to the best advantage of U.S. manufacturing. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Sustainability

The 2014 State New Economy Index – June 2014 

This paper discusses why America needs a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Part one of the paper makes the case for an innovation-centered national manufacturing policy. It lays out key challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector, advances reasons why the nation should care about manufacturing, and sets forth the rationale for an active federal role in fostering manufacturing innovation. Part two of the paper articulates five key principles that should govern the design of the NNMI. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness , Education and Workforce

3D Printing and the New Shape of Industrial Manufacturing - June 2014

Surely, the potential of 3D printing (3DP) has captured the popular imagination. From jet engine parts to made-to-fit bikinis, the technology is being hailed as a revolution in how products are manufactured. According to estimates, the global 3DP printer market is poised to hit $6 billion by 2017 from $2.2 billion in 2012, with global shipments of printers costing less than $100,000 expected to reach about 98,000 in 2014, roughly twice as many as 2013. But in the heartland of US industrial manufacturing, 3DP appears more on an evolutionary track, as companies large and small shape 3DP programs—and as 3DP printers, software and materials science advance. To get a clearer picture, PwC surveyed over 100 industrial manufacturers, from small contract manufacturers to multinationals. Based on this survey, interviews with industry leaders and a PwC analysis surrounding the economics of 3DP, this report explores how and why companies are bringing this technology closer to an effective tipping point of adoption. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Productivity, Supply Chain

MAKING IN AMERICA: U.S. Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Innovation - June 2014

The White House report, Making in America: U.S. Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Innovation, demonstrates how new game-changing technologies are reducing the cost, increasing the speed, and making it easier for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to translate new ideas into products Made in America. These new technologies are already having an impact, with the growth rate in manufacturing entrepreneurship at its fastest pace in over 20 years. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce

Building a Nation of Makers: Six Ideas to Accelerate the Innovative Capacity of America's Manufacturing SMEs - June 2014

This report offers innovative, non-partisan, actionable ideas on how to create middle-class manufacturing jobs. The focus of this report is on six ideas on how to accelerate the innovative capacity of American manufacturing's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Ideas include providing a more flexible education system, certification programs, and access to financing and technology. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce

Trends in technology-based Economic Development: Local, State, and Federal Action - January 2014

Investing in activities that support the creation and expansion of high-growth companies and jobs is at the forefront of technology-based economic development (TBED). TBED fosters a climate where new and existing companies that develop technology and continuously innovate will thrive. Understanding the trends that are affecting and influencing TBED can help guide investment priorities for practitioners and policymakers across the nation. Each year, SSTI takes a look back at the past year's activities in TBED and examines the environment to illustrate trends and put it all into perspective. This report includes a compilation of examples in thematic areas from across the country. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

2014 Global R&D Funding Forecast - December 2013

While R&D funding isn't the sole indicator of how a nation, region or industry will perform, it certainly is a fundamental consideration among other factors like science, technology, engineering and mathematics education levels, capital markets, healthcare, infrastructure, property rights and immigration policy. Each section of this report forecasts research and development levels for 2014, closely examining the expected funding for a region or industry. There are many important projections and key findings for each country and industry under discussion. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce

The Emerging U.S. Rail Industry: Opportunities to support American manufacturing and spur regional development - November 2013

A number of factors have come together to heighten the importance of rail transit to the U. S. economy. These same factors present new opportunities for domestic manufacturers of rail cars and equipment to benefit, however, historical and structural barriers to seizing these opportunities exist. This paper explores each of these areas in detail and makes recommendations to policy makers on how they might best support a strong and growing domestic supply chain for the rail transit industry. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration,Education and Workforce, Supply Chain

New Report: Foreign Direct Investment In the United States - October 2013

The United States has been the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2006. Every day, foreign companies establish new operations in the United States or provide additional capital to established businesses. With the world's largest consumer market, skilled and productive workers, a highly innovative environment, appropriate legal protections, a predictable regulatory environment, and a growing energy sector, the United States offers an attractive investment climate for firms across the globe. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Supply Chain

Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded University Research, Fueling American Innovation and Economic Growth - October 2013

This report focuses on how federal investment in basic scientific research stimulates the economy, specifically by creating companies. The report discusses how federal funding for this type of scientific research is in jeopardy and is on a downward trend. The report also emphasizes the importance of innovation. It references a link to a database with the profile of the companies from the report. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost,Federal and Industry Collaboration

A Clarion Call: A Look Back and a Path Forward - November 2013

The Clarion Call, A Look Back and a Path Forward provides a federal policy "report card" of actions (and lack of actions) since the Council issued a clear and concise agenda to policymakers last year, which included a road map to grow the American economy and included core principles and recommendations critical for the United States' long term economic growth and job creation. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Are Robots Taking Our Jobs, Or Making Them? - September 2013 

This report analyzes the "robots are killing our jobs" arguments, shows how they are constructed on faulty analysis, examines the extensive economic literature on the relationship between employment and productivity, and explains the logic of how higher productivity leads to more jobs. The report shows that more technology benefits not just the economy overall, but also workers: more and better technology is essential to U.S. competitiveness and higher living standards. The claim that increased productivity eliminates jobs is misguided speculation. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Regulatory and Policy RecommendationsProductivity

ThomasNet Industry Market Barometer®- September 2013's Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) is an annual survey of buyers and sellers of products and services in the industrial market. Respondents are engineers and purchasing agents, business owners and managers, and sales and marketing executives from manufacturers, distributors and service companies.'s® 2013 Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey of more than 1,200 manufacturers paints a picture of a sector that is reinventing itself every day. These companies are growing, expecting future growth, hiring, and increasing their production capacity to meet additional demand. This report discusses barriers, opportunities, and solutions to designing energy efficiency programs that result in significant savings from smaller manufacturers. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness,Education and Workforce, Productivity

Global Manufacturing: Foreign Government Programs Differ in some Key Respects from those in the United States- August 2013

Over the last decade, the United States lost about one-third of its manufacturing jobs, raising concerns about U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. There may be insights to glean from government policies of similarly-situated countries, which are facing some of the same challenges of increased competition in manufacturing from developing countries. At the request of the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified innovative foreign programs that support manufacturing that may help inform U.S. policy. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal & Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Competitiveness, Innovation, and Productivity: Clearing up Confusion - August 2013

To listen to many economists, pundits and policymakers discuss the economics of growth it would be easy to be confused by the commonly used terms: competitiveness, innovation and productivity. These terms are often used almost interchangeably and with little precise meaning. To remedy the situation, this policy memo defines these terms and explains how each is important in driving economic prosperity. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Productivity

On the Threshold: Refocusing U.S. Export Assistance Strategy for Manufacturers - June 2013

This report offers observations and recommendations on how to increase small and mid-size manufacturers (SMMs) SMMs' contribution to manufacturing exports; and answers questions related to: the importance of exporting to SMMs with the greatest export growth potential, types of assistance exporters need, the importance of innovation and supply chain for growing exports, and export assistance in a a limited funding environment. The report is in support of a major joint research efforts undertaken by MEP and the U.S.Commercial Service. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Supply Chain

Manufacturing Productivity, Through the Great Recession: What Does It Mean for the Future? - June 2013

Manufacturing has been one of the major bright spots in the economic recovery of the last few years, but this report notes that the importance of manufacturing to the economy is not uniform across the U.S. as manufacturing industries are concentrated in certain locations. This study examines county-level data to assess the importance of manufacturing in local economies throughout the U.S. and find that, although almost all states include some counties where manufacturing accounts for a significant share of jobs and earnings, such counties are concentrated in the Midwest and the South, are more likely to be outside metropolitan areas, and are relatively small. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Capital and Cost, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

CUT TO INVEST Support the Designation of 20 'U.S. Manufacturing Universities' - January 2013

Congress should establish an initiative to designate 20 institutions of higher education as "U.S. Manufacturing Universities" as part of a needed push to strengthen the position of the United States in the increasingly innovation-driven global economy. Today, the challenge is even greater as America competes against a wide array of nations seeking to win the race for global innovation advantage, especially in advanced manufacturing. A new cadre of federally-designated "Manufacturing Universities" that revamp their engineering programs with particular emphasis on work that is relevant to manufacturing firms while providing engineering students with real-world work experience should be part of the solution. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy - December 2012

There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past 30 or more years has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary. This paper focuses on technology and competitiveness, the federal role in technology development, legislative initiatives, and current technology development programs. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness - December 2012

In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. This paper examines the government's various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services. Given the increased popularity of cooperative programs, the paper looks at questions that might be raised as to whether the programs are meeting expectations. Among the issues before Congress are whether joint ventures contribute to industrial competitiveness and what role, if any, the government has in facilitating such arrangements. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Why America Needs A National Network for Manufacturing Innovation - December 2012

This paper discusses why America needs a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Part one of the paper makes the case for an innovation-centered national manufacturing policy. It lays out key challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector, advances reasons why the nation should care about manufacturing, and sets forth the rationale for an active federal role in fostering manufacturing innovation. Part two of the paper articulates five key principles that should govern the design of the NNMI. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded - December 2012

This paper focuses on technology transfer to the private sector, as well as to local and state governments, and the rationale for federal interest and involvement. Current federal efforts to promote technology transfer is also examined, as well as a look at the small business technology transfer program and patenting. At issue is whether incentives for technology transfer remain necessary, if additional legislative initiatives are needed to encourage increased technology transfer, or if the responsibility to use the available resources now rests with the private sector. Categories: Capital and Cost, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

The 2012 State New Economy Index - December 2012

This report builds on prior State New Economy Indexes published in 1999, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Overall, the report uses 26 indicators, divided into five key areas that best capture what is new about the New Economy: 1. Knowledge jobs; 2. Globalization; 3. Economic dynamism; 4. The digital economy; 5. Innovation capacity. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing - July 2012

The report was prepared by the 18-member steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). It addresses needs in three broad categories: enabling innovation; securing the talent pipeline; improving the business climate. The recommendations include a call to establish a national network of manufacturing innovation institutes; an emphasis on investment in community college training of the advanced manufacturing workforce; an approach to evaluate platform manufacturing technologies for collaborative investment; a plan to reinvigorate the image of manufacturing in America; and proposals for trade, tax, regulatory, and energy policies that would level the global playing field for domestic manufacturers. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Capital and Cost, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Manufacturing and Logistics 2012 National Report - June 2012

State by state grades on areas such as productivity and innovation, human capital, global costs, diversification, venture capital, manufacturing, and logistics. Categories: Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation - June 2012

While macroeconomic uncertainties still abound, global manufacturers are using the low-growth environment to ramp up their innovation activity, increase efficiency, and add value to their offerings simultaneously. KPMG's new report, Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation, examines an industry experiencing transformational shifts and the strategies manufacturing leaders are using to adapt to ongoing volatility, drive innovation, and position themselves for both top and bottom-line growth. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Supply Chain

The Benefits of Manufacturing Jobs - May 2012

The U.S. Commerce Department released a report, entitled "The Benefits of Manufacturing Jobs," an analysis of wages and benefits of manufacturing workers, which provides fresh evidence that manufacturing jobs encourage innovation and support economic security for America's middle class. The report finds that total hourly compensation for manufacturing workers is 17 percent higher than for non-manufacturing workers. It also shows that manufacturing jobs are becoming more skilled and heavily reliant on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and that manufacturing is responsible for 70 percent of our private sector R&D, 90 percent of our patents, and 60 percent of our exports. Categories: Education and Workforce

The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth - April 2012

This report explains how challenges in talent, innovation, infrastructure, and energy consumption are what countries and companies in the manufacturing industry must prepare to face in the coming years. In order to stay competitive in the global market, companies need to find the highest skilled workers, breathe innovation and become more efficient in energy, production and logistics. The key to success in these areas will be collaboration between governments and private sectors. With competition increasing for so many resources and capabilities—and with the prosperity of nations hanging in the balance—policymakers will be actively looking for the right combination of trade, tax, labor, energy, education, science, technology, and industrial policy levers to generate the best possible future for their citizens. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Productivity

Intellectual Property and the US Economy: Industries in Focus - March 2012

Report shows that intellectual property protections have a direct and significant impact on the U.S. economy. The report, entitled "Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus," finds that IP-intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5.06 trillion dollars to, or nearly 34.8 percent of, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Categories: Innovation

Make An American Manufacturing Movement - December 2011

The key challenges and solutions outlined in Make: An American Manufacturing Movement appear below: 1. Challenge: Fueling Investments in the Innovation and Production Economy from Start-up to Scale-up Solution: Enact fiscal reform, transform tax laws, regulations and other structural costs to spur investment, ramp up production, capitalize growth companies, and create skilled jobs 2. Challenge: Expanding U.S. Exports, Reducing the Trade Deficit, Increasing Market Access and Responding to Foreign Governments Protecting Domestic Producers Solution: Create fair and open global markets for U.S. goods and services to reduce the trade deficit and increase exports as a percentage of GDP 3. Challenge: Harnessing the Power and Potential of American Talent to Win the Future Skills Race Solution: Prepare the Next Generation of Innovators, Researchers and Highly-Skilled Workers. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce,

Growing Your Region's Economy with Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs - December 2011

NADO's publication highlights the innovative approaches being taken by five regional development organizations (RDO) in Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin to spur job growth through new business startups or existing business expansions. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Best Practice, Productivity

Riding the New Wave in Manufacturing to More Jobs and a Better Economy - November 2011

Time is of the essence. Because longer-term initiatives require sustained public support and political will, we need to demonstrate the potential of manufacturing to create jobs now. Over the longer term, however, the U.S. hold on manufacturing must rely not just on a tenuous advantage in factor costs, but on better quality control, customer responsiveness and inter-firm efficiency. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Growth Through Innovation: Building a Long-Term Strategy for Growth through Innovation - May 2011

History has amply demonstrated that innovation in the public and private sectors is the most important key to long-term U.S. prosperity and economic competitiveness. Yet in the United States today, innovation is at risk of stalling just at a time when rising international competition is on the upswing and the U.S. economy is still reeling from a deep recession. Priorities for action start with turning three deficits—budget, investment/savings and trade—into surpluses. This will require action by the public sector—to provide tax credits for innovation and more forward-thinking trade policies, for example—and the private sector, including businesses, universities and private research firms that reward education and job skills. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations


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Created September 4, 2014, Updated May 27, 2020