2/15/2013 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to reinvigorate manufacturing in Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is urging President Obama to create a new manufacturing hub in Rhode Island.

During his State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a plan to make America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing so that our nation can continue to build things the rest of the world buys.  The President called on Congress to provide $1 billion to open 15 manufacturing innovation institutes to help develop and showcase new manufacturing technologies.  The President is also considering an executive action to launch 3 new institutes -- similar to one in Youngstown, Ohio, that is researching the use of 3-D printing in manufacturing – in which the government, businesses and colleges, and the manufacturing and research communities work together to develop manufacturing technologies and capabilities that will help U.S.-based manufacturers and workers create good jobs. 

The Youngstown facility, known as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), is headquartered in a former warehouse, and received approximately $30 million in federal funding, mostly from the U.S. Department of Defense, and $40 million from a coalition of 60 manufacturers, colleges, and non-profit groups.

“I strongly support the President’s plan to spur manufacturing and urge him to create one of these new hubs in Rhode Island,” said Reed.  “Rhode Island is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and would make a great site for one of these new, advanced manufacturing centers.  There will be many regions vying for this.  But I am hopeful that the state, along with our universities and local businesses, could partner to form an effective coalition where industry, academia, and government collaborate on advanced manufacturing to, as the President put it, “guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made in America.””

The Brookings Institution, a non-partisan think tank, has been a strong proponent of creating these types of regional manufacturing hubs, noting: “The centers will seek to accelerate technology deployment, operate demonstration facilities and test beds, support education and training, and perform applied research on new manufacturing processes—all unlikely activities for private industry on its own.”

Senator Reed is working with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on legislation that would build on President Obama’s proposal and create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation.