Boulder, Colo., will be the site of the fourth and final public workshop to gather input on the design of the proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), on Oct. 18, 2012, at the Millennium Harvest House Boulder.
"Designing for Impact IV: Workshop on Building the NNMI" is organized by the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), a federal interagency body launched in late 2011 to coordinate federal resources and to promote collaborations addressing key manufacturing technology challenges and opportunities. Area hosts include the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The Boulder workshop will be seeking ideas on the technology focus, organization, operation, management, and other topics and activities relating to the proposed network. It will be held one week before the Oct. 25, 2012, deadline for submitting comments in response to a formal "request for information"* issued by the AMNPO and published in the Federal Register on May 4.
Conceived to address strategic gaps in national capabilities to translate innovations into products and processes, the NNMI is envisioned as a network of up to 15 regional hubs—Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation. These collaborative institutes will connect research discoveries and emerging ideas for tomorrow's technologies and products with current U.S. manufacturers, as well as aspiring start-up firms. The network is proposed as a public-private collaboration in the president's fiscal year 2013 budget.
Regional partnerships will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, 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.
Boulder workshop participants will learn about the principles and concepts behind the NNMI and participate in interactive sessions designed to solicit ideas on how to best structure the network and the institutes.
Facilitated interactive discussions will focus on four areas key to the success of the institutes:
Advance online registration is now open and will close by Oct. 16. A $45 event fee, payable at the time of registration, is required and includes a working lunch and two breaks. For more information on the workshop and to access the registration site, go to the conference website.
A meeting announcement was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 28. The notice can be accessed from the workshop web page.
AMNPO is hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Partner agencies include the departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Labor; NASA; and the National Science Foundation.