A viable approach to increasing STEM starts with empathy
Why the Future of American Manufacturing Looks Brighter Than is Generally Understood
What's the state of manufacturing in America today? "Dull, dirty, and dangerous" are the words that first come to the minds of students at University of Michigan, says manufacturer Art Kracke, vice president of R&D and business development at ATI Allvac and a man who repeatedly asks the difficult question.
But the four panelists of the session titled "Advanced Manufacturing: Made in America...Again?" -- of whom he was one -- would disagree.
All spoke positively about America's manufacturing base and optimistically, too, about its future. Strong intellectual property rights, access to capital, access to talent (especially entrepreneurial talent) -- all of these constitute notches in the belt of US manufacturing. So-called "Advanced Manufacturing" is not just the future of creating things in the US, they say. It's the present.
Panelist and manufacturing revolutionary Chuck Hull's company, 3D Systems, spoke highly of the partnership with the Obama Administration's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which aims to bring together players from industry, academics, and government to accelerate product development.
His company, which pioneered the 3D printing process that now undergirds so much of manufacturing is now working with universities and government toward mutually beneficial goals. In the business of making things, collaboration is the buzzword.
Another word that came up frequently during the panel? "Overseas." Moderator Steve Clemons asked the group about the tension that exists between keeping jobs in the US while simultaneously accelerating technology innovation. "This is a false tension. They coexist," said Patrick Gallagher, the director of the National Institute of Standards & Technology.
He insisted, along with panelist Ben Wang of the Manufacturing Research Center at Georgia Tech, that US manufacturers "can and should compete" in a global market with global value chains.
And the consensus of the group is that they are.
- A love of all things innovation is what first drew Laura to Ashoka, where she works to identify and connect leading social entrepreneurs--innovators applying new solutions to some of the oldest and most entrenched societal problems. She also serves as managing editor of Ashoka's StartEmpathy, the forthcoming online home of a movement focusing on educational innovation. Before coming to Ashoka, Laura worked as Communications Director of a mobile health technology start up building products to bring primary care into the 21st century.
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