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An Innovation Revolution

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Attendees at IMTS received an important invitation: join the innovation revolution. Leaders with The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) delivered this invitation. The NNMI is a growing network of institutes that are working to secure the nation’s future through manufacturing innovation, education and collaboration. This unique public-private partnership is poised to change the face—and the future—of U.S. manufacturing.

The new public brand name for the NNMI was announced at IMTS 2016: Manufacturing USA. Several leaders in the effort were present to speak about the NNMI, as well as specific institutes. They also highlighted the importance of getting involved in an existing institute or helping to start a new one.

The Director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, Mike Molnar, discussed the history of the program, which was developed to address the devastating losses in the manufacturing sector from 2000-2010. He noted that 65,000 plants were closed during that ten-year timeframe, causing negative impacts throughout the economy.

The NNMIs bring government, academia and industry together in a neutral convening ground, so they can collaborate and get things done. There are currently eight institutes up and running and many more are being developed, with the goal of 45 institutes in ten years, Molnar said.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, the Executive Director of Power America – the Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute, spoke more specifically about the work of his institute. Power America is striving to modernize the U.S. energy industry. Justice explained that every industry represented at IMTS is driven by the power industry, and they could all benefit from energy modernization and increased productivity. Ultimately, Power America is aiming to ignite a new industrial revolution through the use of innovative materials and solutions, as well as advanced processes.

Whether you are part of a small, medium or large manufacturer, now is the time to consider becoming a part of the innovation revolution. For more information on Manufacturing USA—including details on how to join—visit manufacturingusa.com.

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