White House announces executive actions to boost U.S. manufacturing

On Monday, Oct. 27, President Obama unveiled a set of executive actions to strengthen U.S. advanced manufacturing, spur innovation and continue to make the nation a magnet for new jobs and investment. He also thanked the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) steering committee, a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology, for their research and recommendations, including a final report (PDF). The steering committee’s membership includes Berkeley’s Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks.

“The executive actions announced today align with the report’s recommendations by making investments in emerging, cross-cutting manufacturing technologies, training our workforce with the skills for middle-class jobs in manufacturing and equipping small manufacturers to adopt cutting-edge technologies,” the White House said in a statement.

For example, the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture and NASA are announcing more than $300 million in investments in three technologies that AMP identified as critical to U.S. competitiveness: advanced materials including composites and bio-based materials, advanced sensors for manufacturing and digital manufacturing.

Berkeley Engineering has played a key role in AMP’s deliberations since its formation in June 2011, co-hosting a regional meeting and helping to identify research areas conducive to strengthening the nation’s position in advanced manufacturing. Berkeley Engineering Dean Shankar Sastry represented the campus at the Oct. 27 White House meeting.

“I was able to spend a few minutes with the President talking about our new Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation,” says Sastry, “and how its integration of design and production will support the advanced manufacturing agenda. Our students will be gaining the skills and insights they need to translate emerging technologies into new products and entire industry sectors.”