On Oct. 14, 2011 Georgia Tech was home to the first regional meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group. Participants included more than 250 representatives from industry, education and government. It was part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership announced by President Obama in June to focus on identifying and investing in key emerging technologies and help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive. President Peterson was introduced by Steve Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech.
Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Meeting
Thank you, Steve. I would like to extend a special welcome to our friends Joseph Ensor, vice president and general manager for Engineering for the Manufacturing, Logistics and Electronic Systems Sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation; and Jason Miller from the White House, who serves as Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy. To all of our guests from business, industry, education, and government, welcome to Georgia Tech. Today’s event is the first of four regional meetings held by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advanced Manufacturing. This summer PCAST submitted its “Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.”
To ensure that the U.S. continues to attract manufacturing activity and remains a leader in knowledge production, they recommended two strategies 1) Create a fertile environment for innovation, and 2) invest to ensure that new technologies and design methodologies are developed here, and that technology-based enterprises have the infrastructure to flourish. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, or AMP, was announced by the President Obama this summer in response to PCAST’s recommendations.
AMP is focused on identifying and investing in key emerging technologies that many times represent a cost prohibitive investment for most individual companies. By working together we can help U.S. manufacturers improve the cost, quality and speed of production in order to be globally competitive.
I am honored to serve as one of six university presidents on the AMP steering committee, along with 12 CEOs, including Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush. Part of our job on the steering committee is to engage with stakeholders across the country to identify opportunities for investments in advanced manufacturing that have the potential to transform U.S. industry. We will provide recommendations to PCAST on how to catalyze investment in, and deployment of, emerging technologies. Today’s meeting is an integral part of that process. We’re interested in your insight and suggestions as we work together to make America’s manufacturing industry more competitive.
Today we’re bringing together manufacturers, government, and higher education from throughout the Southeast, which is increasingly becoming a high-tech manufacturing hub. Who would have guessed 20 years ago that all BMW X3s would be exported from the Southeast? In addition to being the home of major manufacturing operations for companies like Mercedes, Hyundai and Kia, companies like NCR, Southwire and GE Energy have a major presence here in Georgia, making the Southeast representative of advanced manufacturing in action. Besides an excellent quality of life and a highly educated and motivated workforce, we have coordinated and mutually supported programs between federal, state, and local government, universities and technical colleges, and industry and affiliated groups such as our chambers of commerce.
One of the key facets of Georgia Tech’s new Strategic Plan, “Designing the Future,” is innovation. As part of this plan, we’re committed to innovation in manufacturing from technology development to logistics.
At Georgia Tech, we are developing the scientific and technological tools and processes that will fuel the next generation of world-class manufacturers. For many years Georgia Tech has been conducting both basic and applied research in manufacturing technologies such as Microelectromechanical Systems, or MEMS, and nanoscale manufacturing, additive manufacturing, bio-fuels and bio-materials, advanced robotics and vision systems, to name just a few.
Our Manufacturing Research Center just celebrated its 20th anniversary last week. The center is leading a manufacturing renaissance in Georgia. Much of our research is helping to improve manufacturing competitiveness and to provide market access, a key component of manufacturing success—things like logistics, supply chain management and engineering, and transportation. We are fortunate to have Dr. Ben Wang as our incoming executive director of MaRC and chief manufacturing officer at Tech beginning in January. Ben’s vision is that for the next decade, MaRC will focus on manufacturing with a big “M” that goes beyond manufacturing to include processes as well as factory automation, supply chain management and enterprise transformation. MaRC will create “collaboratories,” or pilot plants or prototype shops where academia, industry and government can work together on pre-competitive manufacturing technologies. The goal is to create innovations and technologies for manufacturers who can later take those innovations and compete through proprietary design, superior supply chain operations and personalized service.
Small and mid-size manufacturers can especially benefit from programs like the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a catalyst for strengthening American manufacturing, driving innovation and job creation. Georgia Tech is home to the State of Georgia’s MEP, which provides technical assistance and continuing education to improve competitiveness at 25 locations across the state. It is critical that we move new ideas and innovations quickly from the lab to the manufacturing floor, and to the marketplace. We can do that through increased cooperation between universities and the public and private sectors.
One example of that type of collaboration is the joint project announced in May by Northrop Grumman Corporation and Georgia Tech as part of DARPA’s, Microscale Rate Integrating Gyroscope program. We’re working together to develop a new type of MEMS gyroscope technology. The miniature gyros will be used on applications ranging from unmanned vehicles to hand-held devices.
Many of the greatest challenges in Atlanta, our state and our nation can be solved through innovation and by fostering an entrepreneurial environment, as well as through collaboration to create a healthy economy and an educated workforce. The AMP initiative will facilitate greater interaction and partnerships between industry, government, and universities to tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities in advanced manufacturing in the U.S.
That’s why we’re here today. We have a government panel this morning and an industry panel this afternoon. In between the two are breakout sessions where we’ll hear from you. We want the ideas that you brought with you, based on your experience and your insight, and even the ones that will result from brainstorming between participants in the breakout sessions.
We are very pleased to be able to join with you in exploring the best in manufacturing innovation in order to expand the manufacturing capability, grow the number of high quality jobs, and work together to sustain U.S. economic competitiveness.
Thank you. And now, please join me in welcoming Joseph Ensor from Northrop Grumman Corporation.