The Internet of Things (IoT), the network of connectivity between all objects, continues to transform every aspect of the manufacturing enterprise. Manufacturers are increasingly using IoT to help increase operational efficiency and innovation. Yesterday the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual and the Internet held a hearing on IoT and the NAM seized the opportunity to submit comments for the official record. (continue reading…)
Last evening, the House passed the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), a bill championed by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) that has the potential to strengthen the technology leadership position that manufacturers have worked years to establish.
Manufacturers in the United States have always been the world’s leading innovators, as demonstrated by their investments and research and development and prolific patent portfolios. RAMI marks another important investment in a public-private innovation partnership that will help drive manufacturing and facilitate the longevity of our industry’s comeback. The legislation creates a network of innovation centers that brings together business, schools and the government in a joint effort to accelerate the transfer of advanced manufacturing technology and techniques into the commercial sector.
RAMI has been a top legislative priority for the NAM. Our policy teams have tirelessly advocated for the legislation in congressional meetings with key lawmakers. The NAM also designated legislative action on RAMI as a Key Vote. Now that the House has done its part and passed the bill, it is time for the Senate to follow suit.
There is reason to be optimistic. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the bipartisan sponsors of a Senate version of RAMI, sat down with the NAM’s Member Focus magazine to discuss how their bill would contribute to the manufacturing comeback. “This legislation will particularly help small and medium-sized manufacturers by helping companies gain access to cutting-edge capabilities and equipment and by educating and training students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills,” Blunt told Member Focus.
As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons wrote to lawmakers in July, “This legislation will accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing technologies and solidify the United States as the best place in the world to innovate.” The NAM will continue its push to advance RAMI until it becomes law.
The NAM’s Brian Raymond, director of technology policy, managed to work in a quote from the theme song of “Smokey and the Bandit” today on SAP Radio, broadcast worldwide on Voice America, as he spoke about manufacturing innovation leadership in the United States – and how plenty of other nations are seeking the leadership mantle.
Raymond discussed how manufacturers in the U.S. are leading the economic resurgence. They know they must adapt or die. Their shop floors are automated; they already deploy machine-to-machine technology; and they are leveraging big data. He says government needs to catch up to the real innovators.
Tune in here.
Last week American Posts, LLC won the Platts Global Metals Award for ‘End-User Efficiency Initiative of the Year’ Award for their innovative steel u-channel post manufacturing techniques. Foreign production competition threatened this Ohio based and family owned steel manufacturer, but innovations in efficiency and investments in production, moved American Posts in place to compete. As the last manufacturer of steel u-posts for the lawn and garden industry left in the United States, American Posts, LLC is staying true to their motto, “Buy a Stake in America.”
Manufacturers in America continue to lead the way in innovation and American Posts is a great example. In order to stay competitive in the fierce global marketplace, manufacturers need Washington to move forward with pro-growth policies. The NAM has released a Growth Agenda which outlines the policies needed to help manufacturers compete.
The NAM’s Brian Raymond, director of technology and domestic economic policy is live at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for next few days. He will be tweeting and blogging on many of the innovative products he sees as well as what is said by industry leaders at the show.
Be sure to stay tuned to @shopfloorNAM for Brian’s updates from the show.
The Kauffman Foundation released data that start up firms are creating and sustaining fewer jobs than in recent history. This is not good news for increasing job growth in this recovery.
To help focus on this challenge the Foundation also recently unveiled a proposal to promote new business and job growth. Among the recommendations are a sunset provision for major rules that “would regularly cleanse the books of inefficient and costly rules and, thus, barriers to business formation and growth for all businesses, including startups.”
Congress should heed this report and focus part of its job creation agenda on regulatory reform including proposals to sunset existing regulations. Clearing out the regulatory thicket that has grown over time will help to reduce the cumulative burden of regulation and make room for new ideas and modern technology.
Erik Glavich is director of legal and regulatory policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
Yesterday was a good day for manufacturers as the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, which will make the first meaningful reforms for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in nearly sixty years. “No longer will American inventors be forced to protect the technologies of today with the tools of the past,” stated Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Additionally, as reported in Politico:
“The legislation switches America to a first-to-file from a first-to-invent nation, expands the ‘prior art’ that can be used to challenge a patent and sets up a new regime to challenge patents at the patent office. In all, the legislation is designed to make patent approval swifter and make it easier to weed out low-quality patents.”
Passage will not only help with the creation of jobs, but it will also help save jobs. This legislation will give manufacturers in the U.S. the competitive advantage they need for future investments that will achieve the technological breakthroughs and groundbreaking innovation manufacturers in the U.S are known for.
Today’s coverage of the passage of H.R. 1249
- Politico: Patent law rewrite clears House
- The Hill: Controversial patent reform bill approved by House
- National Journal: Industry, Universities Praises Passage of House Patent Bill
- CNN: Patent reform is finally on its way
Click here to see Brian Raymond, Director of Technology and Economic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers discuss the importance of patent reform and the America Invents Act.
You can’t stop the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s job creators, their persistence or appetite for success. Despite the administration’s roadblocks to domestic oil production, manufacturers remain resilient and innovative, achieving new breakthroughs and continuing to find and develop new domestic energy resources.
An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal details the success of energy producers continued commitment to exploration, despite the challenges they have faced over recent years, such as the recent moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Journal notes:
The Interior Department is still issuing very few permits, only 15 for new wells since it lifted its moratorium in October, but Exxon received one of them and struck black gold at 7,000 feet below sea level and some 230 miles at sea… Exxon estimates the field contains some 700 million barrels of oil equivalent, one of the largest finds of the last decade.
The great energy irony of recent years is that governments have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at wind, solar, ethanol and other alternative fuels, yet the major breakthroughs have taken place in the traditional oil and natural gas business. Hydraulic fracturing in shale, horizontal drilling and new seismic techniques are only the best known examples.
Oil and natural gas companies have stepped up their efforts, incorporating additional safety and environmental protections as part of their commitment to the sound, reliable production of domestic energy to lower costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The Journal’s editorial concludes, “The Exxon discovery is a display of the animal spirits that still live in the U.S. energy industry, notwithstanding the political efforts to stifle them. As much as Washington tries, the U.S. economy is hard to keep down.”
A joint news release from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), “Senators Klobuchar, Brown introduce bipartisan innovation legislation“:
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Scott Brown (R-MA) today (Monday, Jan. 31)introduced bipartisan legislation that would help revitalize America’s innovative edge and ability to compete in the global economy.
The Innovate America Act would cut red tape to help businesses utilize research and development for new products, target successful education programs, and promote U.S. exports in new markets to strengthen America’s ability to innovate and compete in the global economy.
“Innovation has always been a catalyzing force in Minnesota’s economy,” Klobuchar said.
“By cutting red tape for businesses and focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math education, we can help our businesses attract and retain our country’s brightest scientists, engineers, and researchers. This bill shows we can come together on a competitive agenda that will move America forward.” (continue reading…)
President Obama on Monday, remarks at Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, N.C.:
If this is truly going to be our Sputnik moment, we need a commitment to innovation that we haven’t seen since President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon. And we’re directing a lot of that research into one of the most promising areas for economic growth and job creation –- and that’s clean energy technology. (Applause.) I don’t want to see new solar panels or electric cars or advanced batteries manufactured in Europe or in Asia. I want to see them made right here in America, by American businesses and American workers. (Applause.)
From ExecutiveGov.com, “Will China Win Clean-Energy Race? Chu Ponders ‘Sputnik Moment’ for US”
In a speech this week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the United States risked falling behind in the race to develop clean-energy sources.
The United States faces a “Sputnik moment,” in terms of clean energy, he said, referencing the launch of the Soviet satellite in 1957 that shocked American scientists and spurred the beginnings of the space race between the two rival nations.
“America still has the opportunity to lead in a world that will need a new industrial revolution to give us the energy we want inexpensively but also carbon-free,” Chu said in the speech Nov. 29 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “It’s a way to secure our future prosperity
Is our Sputnik challenge innovation in general, education and research, or clean energy? All of the above?