President Obama Announces Winner of New Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute and New Manufacturing Hub Competitions

Rensselaer Will Lead Northeast Regional Manufacturing Center Hub
Rensselaer Will Lead Northeast Regional Manufacturing Center Hub

Troy, N.Y. — During the third annual SelectUSA Summit in Washington, D.C., held on June 20, before an audience of business leaders, economic development officials, and investors from around the world, United States President Barack Obama announced that the the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE).

The winning coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, brings together a consortium of nearly 200 partners from more than 30 states—and from across academia, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), industry, and nonprofits—to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing.

The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the ninth manufacturing hub awarded by the Obama Administration, will focus on innovations such as smart sensors that can dramatically reduce energy expenses in advanced manufacturing, making our manufacturing sector strong today and positioning the United States to lead the manufacturing of tomorrow, helping sustain the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing currently underway.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute also will 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 its 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; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will lead the Northeast center, where glass, ceramic, and microelectronics manufacturing have a strong presence. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead a hub in the Northwest, and NC State will spearhead a regional hub for the Southeast.

Rensselaer will be responsible for administering the center for the DOE Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) programs, involving regional partners from industry, academia, and government. Overall, the CESMII partners will bring more than $140 million in public-private investment from leading universities and manufacturers to develop smart technologies and systems for use in advanced manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing is accelerating the translation of U.S. innovations in science and technology into new products and processes, and helping to create jobs across all technology sectors,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “We are very pleased that Rensselaer has been selected to lead the Northeast center of a new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and to contribute even more vigorously to the revitalization of our nation’s manufacturing base.”

“At Rensselaer, we work within a paradigm that we term The New Polytechnic, in which we serve as a great crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer,” President Jackson said. “The leadership we provide to the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will be the finest possible example of The New Polytechnic in action.”

“Our nation’s renewed desire to invest in advanced manufacturing and an innovation economy is tailor-made for institutions like RPI to give domestic manufacturing a boost. The Capital Region is the hottest real estate in the country for this type of work, and this partnership will grow quality jobs and advance our own unique brand of Empire State innovation. In Congress, I look forward to continuing my work to expand programs like the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that give cutting-edge organizations the tools they need to grow the green collar job market and win the global marketplace of tomorrow,” said U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20).

“We must see Made in America again, starting right here in upstate New York,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will help rebuild America’s proud manufacturing tradition and ensure our country remains globally competitive. This investment would help advance the cutting-edge research and development already happening at universities like RPI in the Capital Region. New York’s great manufacturing communities are best positioned to be home to one of these innovation hubs, sparking more growth in high-tech manufacturing sectors, jumpstarting new businesses, and creating good-paying jobs right here where we need them the most. This funding for New York would help create new opportunities for our universities and manufacturers to lead the way in this growing industry.”

Craig Dory, who currently serves as director for business development in the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer, will serve as the Northeast Regional Director for CESMII. Modeling, design, and controls expert B.Wayne Bequette, professor of chemical and biological engineering, will serve as the chief technology officer for the Northeast region, planning and coordinating R&D activities with academic and industrial partners.

In addition to the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), Rensselaer research centers involved include: the Scientific Computation Research Center (SCOREC), the Computational Center for Innovations (CCI), which is home to the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputer, and the Center for Future Energy Systems (CFES)

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and United Technologies (UT), members of the Institute, are also key industrial partners involved with engaging the business community around this manufacturing opportunity.

“CESMII will provide unique opportunities for GLOBALFOUNDRIES to enable transformational improvements in energy efficiency and U.S. manufacturing productivity while also creating high-skilled jobs,” said Mike Russo, director for U.S. Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “We believe that CESMII will offer an unparalleled opportunity for developing our current and future workforce. We are looking forward to being part of CESMII and connecting with other academic members such as RPI and SUNY to support a new generation of scientists and engineers.”

“United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) is excited to be part of the SMLC Institute. As the innovation engine of UTC, we understand the value of energy efficiency as a key differentiator for U.S. manufacturing competitiveness,” said John Milton-Benoit, director of the Manufacturing & Service Technologies Program at UTRC. “This Institute will help to develop and demonstrate advanced technologies required to achieve this goal.”

Additional industrial partners include: Corning Glass, Saint-Gobain, Praxair, Pfizer, EWI, MathWorks, Analog Devices, and Eastman Business Park.

Academic partners for the CESMII Northeast Manufacturing Center include: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the University of at Buffalo (UB), University of Connecticut (UConn), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rutgers University, Syracuse University (SU), and the State University of New York System (SUNY). The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) programs in each state will work to ensure outreach, training, and support. Several testbeds are planned, including a semiconductor device manufacturing testbed located at the Manufacturing Technology Education Center (MTEC) in Saratoga County, N.Y.

No stranger to the field of manufacturing, the School of Engineering at Rensselaer already has an established manufacturing network that offers students, faculty, and industry access to a variety of fabrication and production services and expertise. For example, the Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab (MILL), which is helping to revitalize advanced manufacturing education at Rensselaer, will be used to bring smart manufacturing concepts to undergraduate and graduate education.

In addition, last fall, the School of Engineering announced the launch of the newly created Manufacturing Certificate. The certificate is the first of its kind at Rensselaer focused on new process development and systems management in advanced manufacturing. The certificate includes a project-based lecture and laboratory curriculum for graduate students. Courses are taught by faculty members from the School of Engineering, a team of leading experts in advanced manufacturing, micromachining, high-speed machining, metals and ceramics processing, along with additive, composites, and digital manufacturing.

CESMII programs will include a wide range of projects, across manufacturing sectors and business sizes, including implementation of the Smart Manufacturing Platform, mathematical modeling and data analytics, and developing and implementing advanced automation and control algorithms.

Some of the CESMII partners measured goals include: doubling the energy productivity in U.S. manufacturing every 10 years, reducing the cost of deploying smart manufacturing (SM) systems relative to state-of-the-art systems in five years, increasing the SM workforce in the U.S. multifold in 10 years, doubling the SM supply chain rate of increase in value and participation, and reducing U.S. energy use in 10 years while increasing manufacturing competitiveness.

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. The Institute also will provide the manufacturing communities with easy and affordable access to real-time analytic tools, infrastructure, and industrial applications.

In June 2011, the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report to the President on “Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.” Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson co-authored this report, which provided an overarching strategy and specific recommendations for revitalizing the nation’s leadership in advanced manufacturing. The report helped to inspire the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a series of linked hubs for advanced technologies, each with its own concentration, which now includes the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Appointed by President Obama, Jackson served on PCAST from 2009 to 2014. She also served on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 Steering Committee, which made further recommendations to the President on enhancing the nation’s capacities in advanced manufacturing.

After a decade of decline from 2000 to 2010, the U.S. 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.

To read the full announcement from President Obama regarding the winners of the New Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute and New Manufacturing Hub Competitions, access the quick links below.

Quick Links

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Originally posted in Rensselaer NewsView original story.