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Optical Design & Engineering

Obama announces initiative for collaborative manufacturing innovation R&D

Various sources
24 June 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a $500-million initiative to develop manufacturing innovations through a national collaboration between the government, industry, and academia to invest in technology research and commercialization.

Called the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), the program was announced at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, one of six participating universities.

The President emphasized the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy, and outlined key steps that government, the private sector, and universities will take together to create new industries and new jobs.

He visited Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center to see a range of cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to transform and assist the manufacturing sector, from crowd-sourced vehicles and next-generation robots, to modeling and simulation.

The idea for AMP is based on recommendations from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, an advisory group of scientists and engineers.

"Investing in manufacturing based on new technologies can provide high-quality, good-paying jobs for American workers," Eric Lander, a co-chairman of the advisory panel and director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, said on Thursday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

The initial six universities invited to participate are Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology, MIT, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. More are expected to join later.

The recommendations from the advisory panel led by Lander included an expansion of federal nvestment in shared facilities, such as federal and university laboratories, that small- and medium-sized companies could use to develop new products.

The panel's recommendations also included encouraging a new level of partnerships between industry and academe to identify emerging technologies-such as small-scale flexible electronics and advanced materials-that could be especially valuable in helping the U.S. manufacturing sector to grow.

Read The Chronicle of Higher Education article on the AMP announcement.

View Washington Post photo coverage of the announcement.

Read the White House Blog post on the AMP.

Read the President's announcement remarks.