RECAP: Small Manufacturers and Innovation G+ Hangout

Posted by TGarland on 11/15/2013

Yesterday, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) hosted a Google+ Hangout on small manufacturers and innovation.

AAM’s  Brian Lombardozzi moderated the hangout. He was joined by Stacey Jarrett Wagner, Manager of Workforce Systems Development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Sridhar Kota, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and former Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Stacey Jarrett Wagner on partnerships between industry and universities in a region:

National Network of Manufacturing Institutes builds upon regional collaborations with local universities and community colleges where research is done. These regional collaborations commercialize technologies and help small and mid-sized manufacturers and their employees understand the technology.

Sridhar Kota on the emerging trends in innovation and manufacturing:

Shale gas is huge in terms of its impact on manufacturing. Natural gas serves as a feed stock for chemical manufacturing. In fact in the last 12 months, according to the American Chemistry Council the chemical industry has committed to investing $100 million dollars in manufacturing in the U.S. Energy intensive manufacturing sectors, like steel, aluminum, glass, and paper. Those sectors can be cost competitive now because of the low-cost natural gas. This boom directly impacts nearly a trillion dollars of American manufacturing.

Watch the full hangout. (Oh and for an Iron Man shout out, skip to 42:00)

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