A strong case for innovating in America

Posted by TGarland on 09/13/2013

The conversation surrounding the revival of manufacturing is filled with experts describing everything from the need for a jobs plan from Washington to a more balanced trading relationship with China. At the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we say all of these issues are important to the converstation. But there are other conversations to be had.

One not often discussed? The role of innovation. Innovation is intrinsically linked to the revival of the U.S. manufacturing base, and in ReMaking America, Univeristy of Michigan Professor Sridhar Kota makes the case for more of it:

Teasing out the components of (the innovation process), the U.S. National Academies provided a much broader definition in a recent report:

Innovation commonly consists of being first to acquire new knowledge through leading edge research; being first to apply that knowledge to create sought-after products and services, often through world-class engineering; and being first to introduce those products and services into the marketplace through extraordinary entrepreneurship.

Being first to apply that knowledge to create sought-after products and services has steadily lagged in the U.S--we are often first to acquire new knowledge but cannot produce the product. The production or realization of an idea produces economic strength.

Those are the marching orders going forward: American manufacturing must adapt to the new knowledge of today in order to stay viable in a global economy. And Google’s new smartphone, the Moto X, is a great example of knowledge produced in the U.S.

Want more info on manufacturing and innovation from Sridhar Kota? Check out AAM's latest book, ReMaking America.

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