We would like to share a few manufacturing initiatives that reached important milestones during the past week.
Launch of Manufacturing.Data.Gov
President Obama has said that an economy built to last is one that is based not only on consuming goods but on making things. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of Manufacturing.Data.Gov. This new community on Data.gov is a one-stop Web portal for anyone interested in sharing and ideas and transforming emerging technologies into commercial success stories. It will serve as a public resource of high-value datasets, tools, and applications that can help entrepreneurs streer the entire product development chain for a project, from invention, engineering design and prototyping, to validation and testing, manufacturing, and sales.
The Data.gov manufacturing community is part of the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan’s commitment to expand the number of Data.gov communities to spark breakthroughs in national priorities. The scope of the dataset will expand in the coming months., but it already includes ready-to-license intellectual property from Federal agencies, Federal funding opportunities, Federal programs in advanced manufacturing, shared facilities, software tools and apps.
Marketing Excess Manufacturing Capacity
Hundreds of millions of square feet of U.S. commercial, industrial, and manufacturing space sits idle. To take better advantage of this resource, OSTP has been working with the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to explore opportunities to turn those empty sites into thriving, productive facilities of advanced manufacturing. EDA will launch an initiative to create an inventory of excess manufacturing capacity that will act as an online marketplace to match companies in need of production facilities and related support services with vacant manufacturing facility and space that best corresponds to their needs. The goal is to create a model, based on four to six key manufacturing clusters across the country, that could be replicated to create a nationwide inventory. This new tool will be a valuable resource for domestic companies looking to expand as well as foreign companies exploring the North American market.
Connecting American Manufacturers to Defense Needs
With the goal of applying a user-friendly online market place to increase by ten-fold the pool of participants in defense manufacturing—including small manufacturers and entrepreneurs—the Department of Defense’s Manufacturing Technology program launched the Connecting American Manufacturinginitiative. The program will make it easier for the DoD to find U.S. manufacturers with the right capability and capacity to take on a job, and for U.S. manufacturers to find and secure DoD opportunities that match their capabilities.
Launching Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training in Detroit
The Manufacturing Institute, a national organization focused in part on providing workers with new skills forthe emerging advanced manufacturing industry, recently selected Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) to lead the Right Skills Now program in Detroit, which allows individuals to earn college credit and national industry certifications in 16 weeks, preparing them for immediate employment in advanced manufacturing jobs.The WCCCD program is a comprehensive effort stemming from the “Make in Detroit” program launched as part of the Administration’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative. The need for highly automated computer numerical control (CNC) skills is at near critical levels, with more than 700 job openings posted across nine counties in Southeast Michigan alone. The new fast-track program will train 32 local residents per session in certified precision manufacturing technologiesto help fill those available jobs. The WCCCD Right Skills Now program is also working with the Obama Administration’s Joining Forces initiative to ensure that veterans are tapped into opportunities for advanced manufacturing skills training.
Sridhar Kota is Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Chris Vein is Deputy Chief Technology Officer, both within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.