Obama announces ninth manufacturing hub will be in LA

Posted on 21 Jun 2016 by Tim Brown
President Barack Obama has launched a number of manufacturing hubs in the US.
President Barack Obama - image courtesy of the Whitehouse.

President Obama has announced that The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, based in Los Angeles, California, is to become the ninth manufacturing hub.

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy and will bring over $140m in public-private investment from leading universities and manufacturers to the new manufacturing hub.

It is hoped the manufacturing hub will help make the US manufacturing sector strong today and help it sustain the resurgence of US manufacturing currently underway.

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition will bring together nearly 200 partners to launch the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, focused on accelerating the development and adoption of advanced sensors, data analytics, and controls in manufacturing, while reducing the cost of these technologies by half and radically improving the efficiency of US advanced manufacturing.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will also launch five regional manufacturing centers across the United States each focused on local technology transfer and workforce development.

UCLA will lead the California regional center, in partnership with the city of Los Angeles harnessing the ability to tap the largest manufacturing base in the United States. Texas A&M University will lead the Gulf Coast center — a region anchored in the chemical, oil and gas sectors. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will lead the Northeast center, where glass, ceramic and microelectronic manufacturing has a strong presence.  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead a hub in the Northwest and NC State will spearhead a regional hub for the Southeast.

To ensure that all American businesses, regardless of their size or potential resource limitations, have the opportunity to benefit from the institute’s progress, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will use an open-source digital platform and technology marketplace to integrate advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling technologies into commercial smart manufacturing systems.

Obama aiming for 15 manufacturing hubs

The LA manufacturing hub investment follows the announcement of the eighth manufacturing hub announced for Cambridge, MA in April. The Cambridge hub will combine over $75m of Federal resources with nearly $250m of non-Federal investment for the continued development of innovative fabrics and textiles.

As a part of the LA announcement, the President also launched five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800m in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies from collaborative robotics to biofabrication of cells and tissues, to revolutionizing the ways materials can be reused and recycled.

With the new competitions underway, the Administration is on track to meet the President’s goal of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) of 15 institutes underway across the country before the end of his Administration.

After a decade of decline from 2000 to 2010, the US manufacturing sector has added over 800,000 jobs since February 2010 and remains more competitive for jobs and investment today compared to recent decades. And just last month, a new survey of CEOs from around the world declared the United States the most attractive country for investment for the fourth year in a row.