President Obama Launches Competition For New Textiles-Focused Manufacturing Innovation Institute

WASHINGTON — March 18, 2015 — The President has announced nearly $500 million in public-private investment to strengthen American manufacturing by investing in cutting-edge technologies through a new, textiles-focused manufacturing institute competition led by the Department of Defense, and by sharpening the capabilities of small manufacturers through Manufacturing Extension Partnership competitions in twelve states. The White House, as detailed in a new report, is also launching a Supply Chain Innovation Initiative focused on building public-private partnerships to strengthen the small U.S. manufacturers that anchor the nation’s supply chains.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, to create jobs and strengthen America’s leadership in advanced manufacturing technology, provides the resources to double the number of manufacturing innovation institutes nationwide to 16 by the end of 2016 and fulfills the President’s goal of building a network of up to 45 institutes over the decade. In contrast, the House Republican Budget released yesterday entrenches the harmful sequester levels of funding and proposes to eliminate the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, putting at risk critical investments in advanced manufacturing, workforce development and training, and innovation proposed in the President’s Budget.

After a decade of decline in the 2000s when 40 percent of all large factories closed their doors, American manufacturing is adding jobs at its fastest rate in decades, with 877,000 new manufacturing jobs created since February 2010. Ohio alone has added nearly 70,000 manufacturing jobs over that period. Manufacturing production is up by almost a third since the recession and the number of factories manufacturing across the United States is growing for the first time since the 1990s.

In addition to announcing new competitions for nearly $500 million in public and private investment the President is calling on Congress to do its part to make the bipartisan investments needed to strengthen manufacturing across the United States, including in places like Ohio.

Investing Nearly $500 Million to Strengthen U.S. Advanced Manufacturing:
More than $150 Million in Public-Private Investment through a New Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition

  • The Department of Defense has launched a competition for leading manufacturers, universities, and non-profits to form a new manufacturing hub focused on revolutionary fibers and textiles technologies. The $75 million federal investment will be matched by more than $75 million of private sector resources.
  • This is the ninth competition for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institute, and the first of eight new institutes that the President’s budget proposes to fund by the end of 2016. Returning to sequestration levels for appropriations, as the House Republican Budget proposes, would put this expansion at risk.
  • The first institute awarded is in Youngstown, Ohio. Only in its third year, it is already drawing investment to Ohio — including a $32 million job-creating investment in the region from GE — and advancing research that will help accelerate the speed of 3-D printing in metals by a factor of ten.

$320 Million Competition to Strengthen Small Manufacturers in 12 States

  • Non-profits in 12 states will compete for $158 million in Federal funds matched by $158 million or more in private investment over five years to provide technology and engineering expertise to small manufacturers through the latest round of competitions to strengthen the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)’s network of centers in these states.
  • Today, the President will tour MAGNET’s Manufacturing Innovation Center at Cleveland State University, the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate.
  • In contrast, the House Republican Budget proposes to end funding for the MEP, dealing a blow to the 30,000 small manufacturers the program serves, including the more than 450 Ohio manufacturers served by MAGNET, the Ohio MEP affiliate, in recent years.

New White House Supply Chain Innovation Initiative

  • The President will unveil a White House Supply Chain Innovation Initiative focused on building public-private partnerships to strengthen the small U.S. manufacturers and a new report on the need to further strengthen small manufacturers that form the backbone of America’s supply chains and play an increasingly important role in creating and retaining manufacturing jobs and investment in the United States.

More than $150 Million for a New Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition:
As part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, each manufacturing institute serves as a regional hub for leadership in emerging manufacturing technologies, bridging the gap between early research and product development by bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the United States.

The new competition, kicked off by the Department of Defense is the ninth manufacturing innovation institute competition launched by the Administration to date, joining the eight institutes already underway. The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute will ensure that America remains at the leading edge of fiber science, through a $75 million public investment matched by more than $75 million of private investment in researching, prototyping, and commercializing fibers with extraordinary properties. Known as technical textiles, these modern-day fabrics and fibers boast novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength and electronic sensors. With wide-ranging applications, technical textiles can forge the foundation of protective gear for firefighters impervious to the hottest flames, replicate the sensing capabilities of a smart watch into a lightweight fabric, or detect when a wounded soldier needs to be treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage.

After a decade of decline in U.S. manufacturing during the 2000s, the American textile industry is adding jobs for the first time in two decades, increasing shipments by nearly a fifth since the recession, and winning globally with a 45 percent increase in exports since 2009. Today’s announcement builds on this momentum in American textile manufacturing and lays the foundation for future leadership in the production of sophisticated fibers and textile technologies.

Posted March 20, 2015

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary