Obama to Announce Advanced Manufacturing Institutes

Obama to Announce Advanced Manufacturing Institutes

President Obama on Tuesday will announce a new Pentagon and private-sector partnership aimed at beefing up advanced manufacturing technology in the U.S.

The partnerships are a pair of Defense Department-led “innovation institutes” – one in Chicago and the other in Detroit – funded with $140 million from the Pentagon and matched by area university and business consortiums.

The Detroit institute will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing. The Chicago institute will emphasis digital manufacturing and design technologies, according to a White House official who provided the information on background.


Obama said during his State of the Union message in January that he would establish three manufacturing innovation centers using existing departments and resources. The administration announced competitions for the centers last May, accepting program ideas from the Pentagon, the Energy and Commerce departments, NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The first of the three, the Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Raleigh, N.C., was announced last month. It is led by the Energy Department.

The idea is that the institutes will serve as regional hubs and “bridge the gap” between applied research and product development. This last part would be helped along by the consortiums – made up of corporations, universities, training institutes and, of course, the federal government, all focused on key technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S., the White House said.

The Pentagon will fund each institute to the tune of $70 million, with the consortium members raising and appropriating an equal amount.

The Chicago consortium is made up of 73 companies, universities, non-profit groups and research labs, the White House said. It will be led in Chicago by UI Labs, a research and supercomputing center established last year by the University of Illinois.

EWI, an Ohio-based manufacturing company with a Detroit plant, will head up the 60-member consortium focusing on lightweight metals.

For the Department of Defense, the White House said lightweight and modern metals will mean “armored vehicles strong enough to withstand a roadside bomb but light enough for helicopter-transport.”

The White House is also describing the initiative as another move by the administration to improve the economy and spur new and quality jobs without having to negotiate with Congress.

“President Obama has declared 2014 a year of action, and while he will continue to work with Congress on new measures to create jobs and grow the economy, he will also use his executive authority to get things done,” the White House official said.

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the last line says it all “using his executive authority to get things done”

–like political payback
–lining the pockets of his Chicago people
–pumping tax dollars into his base to win votes
–and this initial $140M will balloon into $250M next year and $500M the year after-get it?
–and they will produce nothing of any value

This is really a great effort to advance our nation into a new future. Excuse me if find a weak link in this idea. Industrial espionage. Not only China and Russia are prepared to steal our basic research from us, but countries we would consider “allies.” An open and free environment is necessary to obtain the results we desire. But the SPIES are there being unplaced as we speak. And China has a lead in human assets in the US.

How much of this will go for the unions?

Waiting for Dfens to comment. Think it’s another public/private partnership that will go down in flames?

I think this partnership will be great for China, because that’s where all the manufacturing of goods we buy in this country is. If Obama really wanted to make a difference on his own without Congress, he’d put a stop to the outsourcing of government, something he said he’d do by didn’t. He’d encourage defense contractors to manufacture weapons instead of going through one pointless development after another. In my opinion, defense contractors should do development on their own money, not mine. Given that they world is far from ideal, then the government shouldn’t pay for-profit companies a profit on development even if they do reimburse those costs, and I’d even be happy to see Obama take as small a step as to continue to pay profit on development, but pay less profit on the design of weapons than they do on the production of those weapons — because our troops can’t fight with paper drawings.

Oh, and Mexico. This is really big for Mexico where all our “American” cars are actually made.

And now we’re suppose to feel reassured when Obama announces something? Hardly!

Our tax-supported research is outsourced elsewhere, whether willingly or not. I agree.

This kind of idea about creating more “centers of excellence” follows a familiar pattern. It’s an admission that simply more effectively managing the current network of established university research centers, private companies and government research institutes can’t be done in this electronic age. Why is creating more physical infrastructure a solution to an existing coordination problem? It all comes back to poor management.

“When all else fails, reorganize because it has the appearance of progress.”

Mexico is proud of the fact it has substantially increased its import and exports under NAFTA. But the plain fact is most of those imports are American car parts and most of its exports are fully assembled cars BACK into America. Detroit is a desert because it lost most of its jobs to Mexico. Every 10th car sold in the U.S. was “Made in Mexico.”

This sounds a lot like the old USSR Institatues were everything had to go through a bureaucracy before making it to production! Everything will coast more and we will get less.

From the two places stated I would say MOST! In both Chicago and Detroit are both hard core union areas. Even to scratch your A$$ you need a union card.

Yet Mexico exports its citizens to the US illegally so that they can get government entitlements and send some of it back to Mexico.

You just said it it has little to do with any new technology but more for his old buddies in Chicago and Detroit.

It’s poor management, true, but what these “centers of excellence” are really about is outsourcing. Companies don’t reinvest their profits into themselves anymore because it is better to pay bigger dividends and outsource all of the machining or any other forming operation to an overseas plant. Many of us have been hit by this kind of outsourcing, but to me the most dangerous form of this outsourcing has been that of the big defense contractors. Once manufacturing giants themselves, these companies are now hollowed out shells of what they used to be. All parts are bought and the only real work done at these places is assembly. Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman — they are all like this. If these companies collapsed tomorrow there would be very little but some leased computers and leased properties to show that they ever existed. Then they act like they are doing us a great favor designing our next airplane or ship. The fact is, they have no expertise to draw on for either job and no will or intent to manufacture anything they build.

So we should just stop trying? Is that what you are saying?

We should provide for our intellectual property (IP) rights by rigorously penalizing any country or multinational corporation that would steal them. It’s no secret that there has been considerable technology transfer from the US and other Western nations to our alleged competitors. One particularly egregious example was a US corporation selling the Chinese the machine to better streamline ICBM housings to increase accuracy during the Clinton Administration, I believe. For us to develop advanced technologies and fundamental research in a free and open environment, just to have it given away to our “competitors” is just not a good idea. Most of my life I’ve studied Eastern as well as Western literature, science and philosophy. What I’m saying is that our competitors are now planting the human intel to appropriate our ideas.

Obama can claim to care about manufacturing all he wants, but every time he signs us up to another “free trade agreement” another million manufacturing jobs go overseas. Either we will continue to hemorrhage jobs until our pay scales drop so low as to make this country into one more 3rd world cesspool, or we put the tariffs these so called “free trade agreements” unilaterally removed and get our jobs and our industrial might back.

What I can’t believe is the way the trade unions in the US are selling out their constituents, what few they have left. The go right along with all these trade agreements and with unlimited immigration policies, while their rank and file workers are unemployed in record numbers. I knew they were crooks, but this is unbelievable.

It is the clever crooks that rub shoulders with each other in a society run by them. “When in Rome do as the Romans” runs the wisdom. To question their rule of us little people won’t do. Meanwhile everything goes to hell while our traditional Rights decline. This is how the crooks want it. So the foreign crooks use the advantage like some scary jiu-jitsu.

I’m curious how the Germans preserve their economy in the face of outsourceamania. Sure, VW “outsources” from Europe to the US, but they still make things in Germany…

Companies are willingly doing the transfer of property that they developed to their subcontractors in the People’s Republic. I imagine if it were a true “free market”, there would be no MTCR or export controls and we could outsource so much military R&D to the PRC.

P&W moved some helicopter engines and they ended up in a helicopter gunship. When we start making aircraft parts over there, they will move experts and equipment to teach the locals how to build parts to western standards. It’s not a big deal to the shareholders: America isn’t home, America is just where the citizenship papers say I am. Quick Gulfstream trip to Monaco when the American military is overmatched, fresh loyalty oath to new country.

Its the way of the world of politics and the super rich and powerful. The rich and politically connected get richer, and we wonder why our economy is in such bad shape. Our government has gotton so out of hand, most of our politicians are a bunch of sniveling trust fund brats who think they are above the general populace. Oh wait, are we reverting back to the monarchy form of governnent where the president can by pass the elected officials and do as he pleases with no consequences. Don’t laugh because it is being done every day and very few people are complaining.

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