5

Crosscutting Themes

Themes that cut across the three manufacturing areas covered in this assessment fall generally into three categories—(1) organization and management, (2) interaction with industry and stakeholders, and (3) industrial impact and national priorities.

With respect to the first category, the organization of NIST’s manufacturing programs into three areas—Nanomanufacturing, Smart Manufacturing, and Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation—is highly desirable. However, it is clear that these three areas have not yet been working together sufficiently under these headings for very long. NIST is not a formal matrix-managed enterprise; nonetheless, the three broad manufacturing areas should draw on the extensive knowledge base and expertise that exist for successful matrix-managed structures on such issues as the management of priorities, program planning, and metrics for judging progress.

In all three manufacturing areas, some of the programs can properly be characterized as programs although many others give the appearance of being a collection of projects that relate to manufacturing. Program alignment under specific managers and program focus could be made stronger. Internal project coordination across NIST laboratories is broad, but it seems ad hoc and informal. Greater benefits could be realized with more structured coordination and management. NIST should take the next steps required to characterize its internal program organization and management.

In the second category, interaction with industry and stakeholders, the process for selecting and prioritizing the projects that NIST pursues in all three manufacturing areas could be improved. The vetting process would benefit if greater attention were paid to the needs of industry and its current state of the art, as well as to the factors of manufacturability and commercial potential.

There is a clear need for NIST to expand and enhance its engagement with industry, which would result in better alignment of NIST programs with industry needs and would avoid having projects that lag behind the industry state of the art. In this regard, for example, more visits by NIST staff to industry and greater use of stakeholder resources in measurements would be helpful. Engagement with industry should also include identifying metrics to help judge whether progress is being made at a sufficient rate in projects, as well as assessing the impact of NIST programs on industry and having collaborating industrial partners report on the impact within their own spheres.

The area of national priorities broadly ties together some of the key findings of this review. Because the vast scope of manufacturing encompasses a wide array of disciplines, systems, applications, and environments, contributions made by NIST impact U.S. industry in a multitude of ways. As a result of its highly qualified researchers and advanced facilities that are a national asset, NIST is uniquely positioned to support U.S. manufacturing broadly. Perhaps in recognition of these capabilities, in the recent launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative by President Obama at the recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, NIST has rightfully been accorded a leading role in being selected for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership National Program Office. NIST should and will receive more national visibility as it continues to pursue its mission of service to U.S. manufacturing.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 36
5 Crosscutting Themes Themes that cut across the three manufacturing areas covered in this assessment fall generally into three categories--(1) organization and management, (2) interaction with industry and stakeholders, and (3) industrial impact and national priorities. With respect to the first category, the organization of NIST's manufacturing programs into three areas--Nanomanufacturing, Smart Manufacturing, and Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation--is highly desirable. However, it is clear that these three areas have not yet been working together sufficiently under these headings for very long. NIST is not a formal matrix-managed enterprise; nonetheless, the three broad manufacturing areas should draw on the extensive knowledge base and expertise that exist for successful matrix-managed structures on such issues as the management of priorities, program planning, and metrics for judging progress. In all three manufacturing areas, some of the programs can properly be characterized as programs although many others give the appearance of being a collection of projects that relate to manufacturing. Program alignment under specific managers and program focus could be made stronger. Internal project coordination across NIST laboratories is broad, but it seems ad hoc and informal. Greater benefits could be realized with more structured coordination and management. NIST should take the next steps required to characterize its internal program organization and management. In the second category, interaction with industry and stakeholders, the process for selecting and prioritizing the projects that NIST pursues in all three manufacturing areas could be improved. The vetting process would benefit if greater attention were paid to the needs of industry and its current state of the art, as well as to the factors of manufacturability and commercial potential. There is a clear need for NIST to expand and enhance its engagement with industry, which would result in better alignment of NIST programs with industry needs and would avoid having projects that lag behind the industry state of the art. In this regard, for example, more visits by NIST staff to industry and greater use of stakeholder resources in measurements would be helpful. Engagement with industry should also include identifying metrics to help judge whether progress is being made at a sufficient rate in projects, as well as assessing the impact of NIST programs on industry and having collaborating industrial partners report on the impact within their own spheres. The area of national priorities broadly ties together some of the key findings of this review. Because the vast scope of manufacturing encompasses a wide array of disciplines, systems, applications, and environments, contributions made by NIST impact U.S. industry in a multitude of ways. As a result of its highly qualified researchers and advanced facilities that are a national asset, NIST is uniquely positioned to support U.S. manufacturing broadly. Perhaps in recognition of these capabilities, in the recent launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative by President Obama at the recommendation of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, NIST has rightfully been accorded a leading role in being selected for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership National Program Office. NIST should and will receive more national visibility as it continues to pursue its mission of service to U.S. manufacturing. 36