WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the “Role of Manufacturing Hubs in a 21st Century Innovation Economy.” During the hearing, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged for passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation which would establish a Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMI) to position the United States as, once again, the global leader in advanced manufacturing. The bill, introduced with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would ensure that the U.S. can out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. Following the hearing, Brown offered the following statement:

“We know that manufacturing has strong ripple effects on the rest of our economy and helped to grow America’s middle class,” Brown said. “That is why it’s necessary that we maintain the United States’ role as a global leader in emerging technologies. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 would do this by ensuring American workers, universities, and large and small manufacturers can out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world. This would lead to better jobs, better wages, and a better future for the United States and its middle class.”

Brown’s prepared remarks, which were delivered as the hearing’s opening statement, can be read in their entirety HERE.

Also testifying at the hearing was Michael S. Garvey, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Youngstown’s M-7 Technologies, a company dedicated to improving the productivity and cost efficiency of manufacturers.

“If America intends to compete in the 21st Century Innovation Economy, we must have the tools,” Garvey said. “One critical tool currently missing are manufacturing hubs. Without them, we surrender American ingenuity and prosperity.”

The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 is modeled on the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, a public-private manufacturing hub. Brown’s legislation is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage resources to bridge the gap between basic research and product development. Brown’s bill would particularly benefit a state like Ohio which has nearly 650,000 manufacturing jobs, third most in the United States.

In August 2012, Brown visited M7 Technologies in Youngstown to announce the $30 million grant from DoD, matched by nearly $40 million in non-Federal funds. The funds helped to establish the new, first-of-its-kind manufacturing institute to specialize in additive manufacturing technology, a type of 3-D printing in which digital models are used to make parts and components. 

Today’s full list of witnesses included:

  • Penny Pritzker: Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce;
  • Eric A. Spiegel: President and CEO, Siemens Corporation;
  • Dr. Martin A. Schmidt: Associate Provost and Acting Provost, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);
  • Michael S. Garvey: President and CEO, M-7 Technologies
  • Dr. Terry Brewer: President, Brewer Science, Inc.