SOTU PREVIEW: Rebuilding America’s Innovation Base

Posted by TGarland on 01/22/2014

We’re just six days away from President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address.

And as promised: Each day, from now until the SOTU, we’ll offer up a piece of what we consider to be the entire manufacturing puzzle. It is our hope that next Tuesday we'll hear President Obama offer ideas and plans on how we can fit these pieces into place to rebuild America's manufacturing sector.

Today: Rebuilding America’s Innovation Base

The President’s ramp-up to the State of the Union began last Thursday with an event in Raleigh, North Carolina. There, the president announced a new manufacturing hub described as a group of 18 businesses and six universities led by North Carolina State University that will develop high-power electronic chips.

This is the second hub in the National Network of Manufacturing Institutes (NNMI), which was established to spur innovation and develop the manufacturing technologies that will take center stage in the 21st century. During his 2013 State of the Union, the president called for a network of 15 such hubs, modeled on similar systems in other nations, like Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes where 60-plus hubs serve as incubators for industrial research. With only two established, the president and congress must work together to fully fund NNMI.

We won’t get all 15 immediately, but the president is expected to announce two more manufacturing hubs in the coming weeks. Maybe he’ll take a moment to announce a new hub in his State of the Union address this coming Tuesday?

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