Tag: Innovation

NAM Talks Innovation: “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go and A Short Time To Get There”

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.

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American Posts, LLC awarded ‘End-User Efficiency Initiative of the Year’

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.

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NAM Live from the Consumer Electronics Show

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.

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Regulatory Barriers Cause Slow Job Growth for Start Ups

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.  

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Patent Reform Protects Job Creators

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.

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Domestic Energy Industry: Innovative, Resilient and Reliable

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.”

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Legislation for Innovation

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…)

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Sputniki and Metaphor Management

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?

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Circum-Netting: Health Care, Innovation, Business, Aerospace

When business calls for the federal government to show restraint on taxes and regulation, that is not a call for inaction.

In its weekly Intelligent Investing feature, Forbes.com interviews David M. Cordani, President and CEO of Cigna and a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ board of directors. From “Get Briefed,” in which Cordani reviews the new health care law, which he says addressed one challenge — access to care. Now, it’s time to “tackle the remaining twin challenges of managing health care costs and closing gaps in quality of care.”

The empirical data is in: consumer-oriented plans bend the cost curve in a positive way, without compromising care.

Our ChoiceFund study, a multi-year study comparing the actual claims experience of 655,000 individuals covered in Cigna’s traditional managed care plans and those covered with our consumer directed plans, shows that medical costs for individuals in consumer-directed plans went down 26% over four years, while levels of care for their preventive medicine, chronic disease management and evidence-based treatments were higher than their counterparts in traditional managed care health plans.

If the share of Americans enrolled in consumer-directed plans rose from a current 18% to 50%, and the results of the Cigna study were applied, the U.S. could achieve $350 billion in savings over 10 years.

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, John Lechleiter, president and CEO of Eli Lilly, looks further down the road and sees a serious threat to U.S. leadership in life sciences, including pharmaceutical R&D. From “America’s Growing Innovation Gap“:

The evidence is certainly mounting that we are facing today nothing short of an innovation crisis in America’s life sciences. The industry I know best, biopharmaceuticals, is facing unprecedented pressure. R&D costs continue to rise, fewer potential new medicines gain regulatory approval, and key products lose patent protection. In fact, the number of new molecular entities approved by the FDA over the past five years—92—is lower than in any other five-year period since I entered the industry in the late 1970s.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not standing still. The U.S. is not the only country looking to the life sciences to drive economic growth, and the very qualities that brought much of the world’s research capacity to our shores could just as easily attract that work to Asia or elsewhere.

In examining the growing conflict between business and the Obama Administration, CNBC host and commentator Larry Kudlow included Lechleiter as one of the business leaders warning against overregulation and taxation. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Innovation, the Science Committee Hearing

The House Science Committee considers an exciting area of policy — many exciting areas — on Wednesday when it convenes a hearing, “The Future of Manufacturing: What is the Role of the Federal Government in Supporting Innovation by U.S. Manufacturers?” The issue at hand, the comittee says, is the need “for U.S. manufacturers to adopt innovative technologies and processes in order to remain globally competitive, and to determine the appropriate role for the Federal Government in supporting efforts by U.S. manufacturers to innovate.”

Witnesses are:

  • Susan Smyth, Director of Manufacturing, GM R & D, and Chief Scientist for Manufacturing, General Motors Company
  • Len Sauers, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Procter & Gamble
  • Debtosh Chakrabarti, President and Chief Operating Officer, PMC Group Inc.
  • Mark Tuominen, Director, National Nanomanufacturing Network
  • Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy and Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute

The hearing charter includes a good discussion of manufacturing’s role in the U.S. economy, the importance of innovation, and federal policies intended to support that innovation.

 

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