Manufacturing Universities: The Next-Generation University-Industry Partnership

ITIF praises Senators Coons, Ayotte, and Gillibrand for introducing this important piece of legislation which will help transform university-industry relations, improve America’s innovation capacity, and ultimately spur significant economic and employment growth. A national system of manufacturing universities will incentivize institutions to focus more on the advanced manufacturing research and applications that are increasingly needed in the ‘New Economy.’ It will also produce graduates that are better equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in emerging, innovation-based industries. - Dr. Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

3-D Printing Makes a Mark on Engineering Education

What's the best preparation for someone interested in entering this new field? Hull, who has a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado, says that if he were starting off today in the field he created, he'd pay a lot more attention to organic chemistry and materials science. "A lot of the technology has to do with how you manipulate materials," he says. Hull also recommends becoming proficient at computer-aided design.

Bill in Congress would establish manufacturing universities

A bipartisan bill that would designate 25 manufacturing universities across the country and give each one $20 million over four years to step up advanced manufacturing in engineering programs was introduced Wednesday in Congress by lawmakers. The funds would be used to improve engineering programs, especially those related to manufacturing. With these grants, universities could support students with cooperative education and apprenticeships.

Irvine nonprofit using 3D printers as new math teaching tool

Teachers have known for a long time that many kids learn math best if they can play with blocks and other tools they can touch. Educators call these toys and tools "manipulatives," and while effective in teaching, they can also be expensive. Now developers at the MIND Research Institute, an educational nonprofit based in Irvine, Calif., are creating ways for teachers to produce the tools with less expense using three-dimensional printers.

Open-source algorithms to enable high-quality 3D printing of metal parts

The project intends to develop and demonstrate software algorithms that will allow selective laser melting (SLM) to produce metal parts that are high quality and durable. SLM is a metal powder-based, additive manufacturing process where a 3D part is produced, layer by layer, using a focused, high-energy laser beam to fuse the metal powder particles together.

Russian Rocket Ban Sparks Competition, Innovation in New Space

The ban not only reduces rocket revenue sent to the not-so-friendly-lately Russian government, but it also does something else. It creates an immediate need for a new era in American rocket engineering and manufacturing. More important than the geopolitical statement is the catalyst for American innovation.

Innovation Needs to be a Central Focus of the Federal Budget

As American manufacturing continues its slow recovery from the Great Recession, improved competitiveness and innovation need to remain strong federal priorities. It’s therefore heartening to note that the President’s FY 2016 budget request illustrates the administration’s belief in the power of public/private research partnerships to restore American industry’s competitive edge in advanced industries.

Obama's 2016 Budget Request For National Network For Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Reaches Beyond $600 Million

The Obama administration is seeking a substantial increase in funding for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which has suddenly become a very large government-wide manufacturing program. In adding up the budget requests for NNMI centers that have been or will be created in 2016, the total amount for NNMI comes to $608 million. The large-scale "Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation" will be funded by the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce and Agriculture.

Ford accelerates carbon fibre research for innovation in manufacturing technology

Ford has announced a significant new collaboration to develop manufacturing innovations in automotive-grade carbon fiber. Ford and DowAksa will be part of the U.S. Government-created Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. The innovation enables acceleration of Ford research and development of low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber; could reduce vehicle weight, increase fuel efficiency without sacrificing strength.

Lockheed says technology investments cut cost of F-35 jets

Lockheed Martin Corp said a series of manufacturing changes and technology investments were already driving down the cost of the F-35 fighter jet, and the savings were set to triple in the ninth batch of jets to be produced. Lockheed is working closely with the U.S. government to lower the $400 billion projected cost for developing and building three models of the stealth fighter jet.

Factories Adding Robots at a Faster Pace

U.S. factories are among the top adopters of robotic technologies along with factories in China, Japan, Canada, Russia and the U.K. Factories in the U.S. and around the world are adding robots to their workforce at a faster pace. That pace is expected to pick up even more over the next decade.

Aerospace Manufacturing Picks Up in the US

The consulting firm ICF International released its study analyzing more than 2,000 investment transactions. It showed production jobs and manufacturing work that had been moving to China and other markets, have been moving to the U.S. over the last three years.

GM confirms it will build Bolt electric car

General Motors will produce an electric vehicle based on the Chevrolet Bolt concept that will be sold in all 50 states and will be built at the Orion (Mich.) Assembly plant, Alan Batey, president of GM North America, announced Thursday in the keynote speech to open the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

Renaissance in American Manufacturing? Not So Fast

At the end of 2013, there were still 2 million fewer manufacturing jobs and 15,000 fewer manufacturing establishments than in 2007, the year before the Great Recession, and inflation-adjusted manufacturing output (value-added) was still 3.2% below 2007 levels. While the U.S. manufacturing sector has grown since 2010, resulting in 520,000 new jobs and 2.4% real value added growth, almost all of this growth has been cyclical in nature, driven by just a few industries that contracted sharply during the recession.

Manufacturing Shouldn’t Be A Dirty Word For Today’s STEM Talent

Thanks to massive advancements in automation technology and analytics software, the American manufacturing industry of today is a far cry from the assembly lines and manual labor of the past. Manufacturing in the 21st century is a high-tech fusion of software and mechanical engineering, automated processes and complex production equipment, 3D CAD models and on-demand parts. The fortunate result of this modern-day industrial revolution is an expanding demand for highly skilled STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related positions.


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