The Manufacturing USA institutes (also known as Manufacturing Innovation or the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation) originated in A National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing, released by the White House in 2012, which pushed for the creation of multiple public–private partnerships in the advanced manufacturing sector to support research, strengthen the workforce, and accelerate the delivery of advanced manufacturing technologies and products to federal agencies.1 Today, the institutes are a national, bipartisan initiative focused on strengthening U.S. manufacturing in order to protect national security and retain U.S. global economic competitiveness. Designed as intensely collaborative applied research and development endeavors among government, industry, and academia, the institutes are intended to become long-term, self-sustaining national assets.
As of 2019, there are 14 institutes. Eight receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the others receive federal funding from the Departments of Energy and Commerce. The DoD Manufacturing USA institutes are America Makes: The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute; the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII)2; Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT); the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics); NextFlex: America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Institute; Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA); the Advanced Tissue
1 Executive Office of the President, 2012, A National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing, https://www.manufacturing.gov/sites/default/files/2018-01/nstc_feb2012.pdf.
2 DMDII has undergone a recent name change to Manufacturing Times Digital.
Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (BioFabUSA); and the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM).
DoD’s commitment to the pursuit of innovative defense systems requires a robust, responsive domestic manufacturing base to deliver critical new products quickly and affordably. DoD has invested more than $600 million in one-time start-up funding3 among these eight institutes, which cover a wide range of technology areas, in order to support the core DoD tenet of combat overmatch between the United States and its adversaries. The overall mission for these institutes is to explore specific defense-relevant technology areas in ways that accelerate key innovation cycles and expand U.S. industrial capability. Central to this endeavor is the fostering of deep connectivity between the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem and DoD to ensure lasting U.S. technological dominance, both commercially and in the defense and operational sectors.
ROLE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
At the request of DoD, the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened the Committee on Strategic Long-Term Participation of DoD in Its Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (see Appendix A). The goal of this activity is to help inform how DoD will engage with its eight institutes now that they are maturing beyond their initial start-up phase (see Box 1.1, “Statement of Task”).4
To achieve its task, the committee organized a workshop designed to garner insights from institute stakeholders with regard to how the institutes have progressed, what their most valued offerings have been, and how DoD can support them so that they maintain momentum and continue to deliver value (see Appendix B). The Workshop on Strategic Long-Term Participation of DoD in Its Manufacturing Institutes convened more than 140 institute stakeholders to exchange ideas and perspectives toward a shared understanding of appropriate future directions (see Appendix B). Of these attendees, 26 were from industry, 37 were from DoD, 23 were from academia, 19 were from the DoD Manufacturing USA institutes, and 30 were from other agencies. The 10 members of the study committee were in part from the sectors listed above and are thus listed in Appendix B both as a member of the committee and as a member of their home institute.
3 U.S. Department of Defense, 2017, Department of Defense Manufacturing USA Strategy, Version Date September 8, 2017, Director DoD Manufacturing Technology Program, OUSD(R&E) Strategic Technology Protection and Exploitation.
4 Some have matured beyond their start-up phase; however, some are still undergoing start-up.
The workshop aimed to shed light on whether the institutes are meeting DoD goals, evaluate any lessons learned, consider potential changes to the institutes, envision different funding structures, discuss alternative public–private models, and identify topics worthy of further study. As part of its role in support of a unique fast-track study, the workshop was designed as an active, working, and engaged learning experience. Homework was assigned, and breakout groups were charged with rapidly generating and sharing ideas for concrete actions. Stakeholders were asked what they value most about the institutes and why; what activities the institutes should stop, start, or modify; and how DoD can maximize the institutes’ long-term impacts. The insights, experiences, and feedback surfaced at the workshop and documented in this proceedings serve as a crucial base and backdrop for the work of the Committee on Strategic Long-Term Participation of DoD in its Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
ORGANIZATION OF THIS PROCEEDINGS
This proceedings summarizes the workshop presentations and discussions based on a transcription of the workshop and notes from the breakout groups. Chapter 2 summarizes the two keynote addresses from the workshop’s first day, one from a DoD representative and one from an industry representative, and incorporates participant comments. Chapter 3 outlines four presentations on alternative domestic public–private partnerships and includes questions and comments from the audience. Chapter 4 summarizes three presentations on international manufacturing programs in China and Great Britain and also includes audience questions and comments. Chapter 5 synthesizes key outcomes of the workshop’s three breakout sessions. Chapter 6 summarizes an open discussion period along with ideas for future National Academies’ studies.