Speaking of manufacturing strategy (see earlier posting), this morning the President announced the start of an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). The program was a main recommendation in the new PCAST “Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.” It’s really a manufacturing technology policy focused (as the PCAST press release puts it) on “precompetitive applied research to accelerate the maturation and manufacturing-readiness of emerging technologies” and therefore not a full manufacturing or innovation strategy.
AMP is heavy on the partnership aspect. But it does include the government investments in domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries, in advanced materials, in next-generation robotics, and in energy-efficient manufacturing processes:
One of the more interesting parts of the partnership has to do with some modeling and simulation software Procter & Gamble developed with Los Alamos National Lab. They will make this software available at no cost to American small and mid-sized manufacturers. Why? Well, as the President put it in his remarks:
Now, this is not just because Procter & Gamble wants to do good. It’s also they’ve got thousands of suppliers, and they’re thinking to themselves, if we can apply this simulation technology to our smaller suppliers they’re going to be able to make their products cheaper and better, then that, in turn, is going to save us even more money. And it has a ripple effect throughout the economy.
As I’ve noted before, P&G is a leading practitioner of open innovation. Helping build up technological capabilities of the supplier base is a key means of strengthening the open innovation process. This collaboration with P&G is a great example of the type of new policy initiatives geared to the reality of the collaborative I-Cubed Economy. Let’s hope we see more of them.