the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition

On National Manufacturing Day, The President and His Cabinet Will Visit Manufacturers Across the Country  

U.S. manufacturing is central to the foundation of our economy, and the U.S. manufacturing sector is as competitive as it has been in decades for new jobs and investment.  As the President said in his remarks at Northwestern University, “…with dedicated, persistent effort, we have been laying the cornerstones of this new foundation for growth and prosperity. The first cornerstone is new investments in the energy and technologies that make America a magnet for good, middle-class jobs”.

As part of the effort to build on the progress made and highlight the need for continued investment in American manufacturing, the President is announcing today a new competition to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, led by the Department of Defense, and the second of four new institute competitions to be launched this year.

Tomorrow, the President will travel to Princeton, Indiana where he will tour Millennium Steel and discuss the importance of continuing to invest in American manufacturing. Members of his Cabinet are also traveling across the country to take part in National Manufacturing Day as more than 1,600 U.S. manufacturers open their factories to members of the public. Supported by the Department of Commerce and manufacturing industry associations, the third annual Manufacturing Day will be the largest to date.  Working with schools, local governments, and communities, manufacturers are welcoming more than 50,000 people into American factories to experience the strong future of American manufacturing and to excite young people about the promising careers in manufacturing and engineering. 

Since February 2010, American manufacturing has added 700,000 jobs, the fastest pace of job growth since the 1990s.  The sector has grown at nearly twice the rate of the economy overall, the longest period of outpacing the economy since the 1960s. While we’ve made considerable progress in bolstering American manufacturing since the Great Recession, the President continues to believe there is still more we can do to support middle class jobs and help businesses expand in this vital sector.  In order to continue strengthening American manufacturing, the President has called for investments that directly support innovations in manufacturing, like investments in research and development, but also investments in education and worker training that will continue to ensure America’s manufacturing sector is fueled by the best-trained, most highly skilled workforce in the world. To further these goals, he is announcing new resources and tools to spur growth in the American manufacturing sector, create jobs, and support opportunities for the middle class. 

Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing and Laying the Foundations for Lasting Competitiveness

“When our manufacturing base is strong, our entire economy is strong. Today, we continue our work to bolster the industry at the heart of our Nation. With grit and resolve, we can create new jobs and widen the circle of opportunity for more Americans.”

– President Barack Obama, National Manufacturing Day Proclamation

Ø  Launching a New Manufacturing Innovation Institute CompetitionThe President is announcing a new competition, led by the Department of Defense, to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, the second of four new institute competitions to be launched this year.

Ø  Releasing a “Digital Tour of American Manufacturing”The White House and the Department of Commerce are releasing a new digital report that highlights the central role of manufacturing in laying the foundation for a new American economy.

Ø  Helping Manufacturers Choose to Locate in the United States:  The Department of Commerce is releasing a new resource for manufacturers to help them locate in the United States by better evaluating and avoiding the hidden costs of off-shoring.  The new inventory costs tool will be used across Commerce’s manufacturing extension centers, which already support more than 30,000 small and medium manufacturers each year.

A Competition for the Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute

The Department of Defense is launching a competition to award more than $100 million in federal investment matched by $100 million or more in private investment to the winning consortia to build a new Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) focused on Integrated Photonics.  This Institute will focus on developing an end-to-end photonics ‘ecosystem’ in the U.S., including domestic foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.

Each manufacturing innovation institute serves as a regional hub, bridging the gap between applied research and product development by bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S.  This type of “teaching factory” provides a unique opportunity for education and training of students and workers at all levels, while providing the shared assets to help companies, most importantly small manufacturers, access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.

Photonics, the use of light for applications as diverse as lasers and telecommunications, powers the Internet as we know it today. Integrated Photonics manufacturing, the next generation of this extremely important technology, has the potential to revolutionize the carrying capacity of internet networks and to transport information at far greater densities and much lower costs than can be attained today. Beyond the Internet and telecommunications, integrated photonics can revolutionize medical technology – from the development of “needleless” technologies for monitoring diabetics’ blood sugar levels to tiny cameras smaller than pills that can travel within arteries. Integrated Photonics are expected to bring the sequencing of human genomes rapidly down the cost curve, making genome sequencing possible for less than $1,000 as compared to $5,000 today.  And in national defense, the potential applications of integrated photonics range from improving battlefield imaging to dramatic advances in radar. 

The Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute  - with over $200 million in public and private resources - is expected to comprise the largest Federal investment to date, reflecting the complexity of this technology, its importance to national security, and its revolutionary potential. See for more information.

A “Digital Tour of American Manufacturing”

The White House and the Department of Commerce are releasing a Digital Tour of American Manufacturing, highlighting how our manufacturing sector is central to making America a magnet for good, middle-class jobs and for generating durable economic growth, both today and tomorrow:

  • If U.S. manufacturing were its own country, it would be the ninth largest economy in the world, as big as Russia and bigger than Italy and Spain.
  • Manufacturing fuels American innovation, accounting for three-quarters of private sector R&D and the vast majority of all patents issued. 
  • Manufacturing supports more than more than 17 million U.S. jobs in manufacturing and its supply chains, more than 1 in 7 private sector jobs.
  • Manufacturing creates good, middle-class jobs – incumbent manufacturing workers earn 22 percent more than similar workers in other sectors, and new hires in manufacturing earn 38 percent more than new hires in other sectors.

Thanks to the determined work of communities and business, combined with the decisions made by the Administration, U.S. manufacturing is more competitive than it has been in decades.

  • Due to the productivity of American workers, abundant and low-cost energy, and unparalleled access to innovation, it is more competitive to manufacture in the United States than in any other advanced economy.  And we have seen the results - last year the United States global share of exports grew faster than that of any country in the world except for China.
  • In 2012, 37 percent of manufacturing executives said they were actively considering relocating production from China to the U.S.  By 2013, that figure had grown to 54 percent.
  • American manufacturing is doing better than it has in decades – we have added over 700,000 new jobs, the first period of sustained job growth since the 1990s.
  • Manufacturing wages and manufacturing exports are up, growing twice as fast today as they were last decade, and we are opening new factories at the fastest rate in over twenty years.

Helping Manufacturers Choose to Locate in the United States

The Department of Commerce and its partners are announcing new resources to help more manufacturers quantify the advantages of locating in America. Through the Assess Costs Everywhere portal manufacturers can access a comprehensive set of resources to evaluate the advantages of locating in the United States. And, with the new inventory costs calculator introduced this week and developed in partnership with experts at Lausanne University, manufacturers can directly quantify the often hidden costs of lengthy, overseas supply chains.  Using this tool, many manufacturers will find that the long times to transport a product from overseas to the United States, can increase their costs by 20-30 percent compared to manufacturing in the United States. 

Oct 3rd National Manufacturing Day

On National Manufacturing Day, over 1,600 manufacturers and affiliates spread across all fifty states will host tours and events for students and families in their communities to showcase careers and opportunities in 21st century manufacturing.  U.S. manufacturing is on the rise and manufacturing jobs present promising pathways into the middle class for millions of Americans. But too few workers and youth recognize what modern manufacturing can mean for them.

Organized by the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership and its industry partners, this year National Manufacturing Day will nearly double the number of manufacturers compared to last year holding tours for the future generation of manufacturing workers and their communities.

Manufacturers across the country are going to considerable lengths to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing. For instance, Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation , in addition to hosting events at four of its factories including a tour for more than 1,000 students at the factory in Davenport, IA that builds the wings for Air Force One, have teamed up with Discovery Education to host “Manufacture Your Future” a live virtual field trip  of Alcoa’s factories.   Caterpillar, whose giant trucks and construction equipment capture the imaginations of America’s children, is hosting community tours at 200 different locations across the country. Manufacturers in Portland, Oregon are hosting a School to Work Manufacturing Bus Tour taking students to thirteen small and medium sized manufacturers across the city. And Maker spaces across the country, including The Forge Maker’s Space in North Carolina, are open up their shops for students.