Global competition is becoming a marathon race toward a new age of advanced or "smart" manufacturing. Some developed and even emerging nations have already jumped the gun with strong industrial policies aligning government, businesses and even educational institutions in collaboration. The European Commission invested the equivalent of about $1.5 billion into a "Factories of the Future" public-private partnership more than a year ago in their economic stimulus package.
A traditional manufacturing leader like the United States will not retain its preeminence in the global economy if it loses its robust manufacturing sector. Manufacturing represents 57 percent of U.S. exports today, and produces 21 percent of the world’s industrial output. It supports about one in six private-sector jobs.
But increasingly, Americans invent great products like personal computers or cell phones and then manufacture them elsewhere. To capture the full economic benefits of new technology, we must tie high tech innovation to value-added manufacturing. If we fail to do so — and not do it quickly — centers of innovation will begin to relocate closer to emerging manufacturing centers in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere. Developed and emerging nations are in heated competition to create the most compelling opportunities to innovate, build a highly skilled workforce, improve standards of living and enhance national security.
These global competitive challenges demand that we act now. To retain and build its competitive lead in the world, the U.S. must respond boldly to the transformation that is under way in global manufacturing. Manufacturing is and will continue to be an essential path for attracting and maintaining investments, spurring innovation and creating high value jobs.
America must craft and mount a strategic response to provide jobs for its citizens in the 21st century. We need an engaged and skilled workforce, rapid deployment of new-frontier science and technology, deep pools of risk capital, and revitalized physical and virtual infrastructures to drive America’s competitive advantage.
To this end, the Obama Administration has made it a priority to revitalize manufacturing, stimulate job creation and double U.S. exports.
Thus, the Council on Competitiveness with the support of Rockwell Automation and many of our nation's leading businesses, universities and labor organizations has launched a new U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative. The Council's initiative will support the Administration and U.S. manufacturing in fulfilling these goals by shaping a holistic manufacturing strategy. This strategy will be delivered to the Administration and Congress at a National Manufacturing Summit in 2011.
As part of this initiative, please download this document about how advanced or "smart" manufacturing technology contributes to the future of manufacturing competitiveness.