Last Friday US President Obama announced a new initiative to increase US competitiveness in manufacturing: the Advanced Manufacturing Process Partnership, or AMP. The goal is to create lots of high value manufacturing jobs. A good idea, but what does it involve?
It’s a bit of a money shuffle between various existing programs, but in the end in excess of USD$500M will be directed towards these areas:
- Building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries
- Reducing the time needed to make advanced materials used in manufacturing products
- Establishing U.S. leadership in next-generation robotics
- Increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes
- Developing new technologies that will dramatically reduce the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods
Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together- private sector industry, universities, and the government- to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world. With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that ‘invents it here and manufactures it here’ and creates high-quality, good paying jobs for American workers.
We think 3D printing and related tech could fit into several of these categories, particularly in manufacturing material science and energy efficient manufacturing. 3D printing could become a significant eco-technology, as it could, at least for some items, reduce the carbon-emitting transportation steps. Another relevant area addressed by AMP is USD$12M to “tackle common technological barriers to the development of new products.”
It’s not clear whether this money has already been seeded to participants, or whether it’s possible for 3D print players to apply. Regardless, this is good news for advanced manufacturing.