Brown Takes First Tour of NAMII, Calls for Creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

Brown’s Efforts Were Vital to Ensuring NAMII Receive Necessary Start-up Funds and be Located in Ohio; Brown Also Touts Mahoning Valley as Example for Rest of the Country and First Step in U.S. Out-Innovating Rest of the World

YOUNGSTOWN, OH– Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) took his first tour through the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) and called for the creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) so that the United States can out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. During the event, Brown touted the Mahoning Valley’s new public-private institute as a key first step in achieving that goal. Brown led the charge for the first NNMI pilot to be located in Ohio and his efforts helped procure $30 million in Federal funding for the project.

“Northeast Ohio’s techbelt is a shining example of American ingenuity and a testament to Ohio’s ability to make things,” said Brown. “With NAMII leading the way, we can create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that will create thousands of high-paying jobs and establish the infrastructure to attract new investment in high-tech manufacturing.”

In advance of the 2013 State of the Union Address, Brown announced that he has circulated draft legislation to industry stakeholders to create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) to create more advanced manufacturing hubs like the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown. In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama asked Congress to create a network of 15 additional hubs of manufacturing innovation. Brown’s legislation would ensure that the United States can out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. Brown’s proposal is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage investments to bridge the gap between basic research and product development. President Obama, who specifically cited NAMII in his recent State of the Union address, has previously expressed support for a NNMI in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal.

Today, Brown focused on that goal and was joined by NAMII Director Ed Morris who discussed the vital work Brown has done to bring manufacturing back to the Valley.

“We at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute are very pleased that Senator Brown visited our facility in Youngstown to see first-hand the significant progress being made as the pilot institute for the Obama Administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation,” said Morris. “We greatly appreciate the Senator’s support and vision for the accelerated advancement of game-changing innovative technologies such as additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing combines innovative design and manufacturing capabilities to create new products and the jobs that follow as a strategic boost to the U.S. economy.”    

The Youngstown-based institute is the first pilot of NNMI. In August 2012 Brown joined senior White House and Administration officials at M7 Technologies in Youngstown to announce the $30 million grant from DoD to establish the new, first-of-its-kind manufacturing institute that would specialize in additive manufacturing technology, a type of 3-D printing where digital models are used to make parts and components. Brown led a Congressional letter of support for the Cleveland-Youngstown-Pittsburgh TechBelt to receive the competitively-awarded grant, and last year in Cleveland, he delivered the keynote address at a workshop on building the NNMI. In that speech, Brown cited his support for Ohio-based institutions to carry out the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposal to establish an Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The $30 million award from DoD will be matched by $40 million in private funds from the award recipients.

Last June, Brown joined the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce to deliver the welcome address to the TechBelt Export Summit at the D.D. & Velma Davis Center. Brown’s office worked with the Regional Chamber to organize and plan the event, which was aimed at helping businesses in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh region increase their export sales by providing information about helpful resources for businesses that are interested in exporting. 

Described as “Congress' leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown—a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus—has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing. Last year, legislation sponsored by Brown and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, passed the House. This bipartisan legislation requires the Commerce Secretary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector and submit to Congress a National Manufacturing Strategy (NMS). The goals of the NMS are to increase manufacturing jobs, identify emerging technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and strengthen the manufacturing sectors in which the U.S. is most competitive.

Also joining Brown at the event today was Youngstown State University (YSU) student Matt Azam, an Industrial and Systems Engineering major who represents the Valley’s bright future by taking advantage of a new internship and co-op program that partners with more than a dozen advanced manufacturing and related industries throughout the region, including NAMII and the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).

Other attendees included NAMII Founding Director Ralph Resnick, YBI Chief Operating Officer Barb Ewing, and YSU Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) Dr. Martin Abraham, Acting Deputy Director of Workforce and Educational Outreach Dr. Darryl Wallace, and Dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration Dr. Betty Jo Lacata.


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