The federal interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has announced that it will hold a public workshop on the U.S. government's proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) in Huntsville, Alabama, on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. The workshop, "Blueprint for Action: Workshop on the Design of the NNMI," will include a review of the current proposed design of the NNMI and an examination of issues related to the creation and implementation of the NNMI's planned regional Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).
The AMNPO plans to release a draft concept paper in January 2013 that outlines the objectives, organization, and activities of the NNMI and its regional IMIs. As currently envisioned, the NNMI will operate as a system of regional organizations, each one based around a local IMI; the IMIs will be competitively selected and will each have its own technical focus. The regional groups will serve as a link between start-ups, existing manufacturers, universities and community colleges, state and federal agencies, and other interested stakeholders, with the aim of bolstering innovation through support for relevant research, support for advanced manufacturing-related training and education, and investment in promising manufacturing technologies.
The NNMI's proposed design is based in part on recommendations contained in a report by the presidentially appointed Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee, titled Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing. [See Related Story] The report, which was presented to President Barack Obama in July 2012 by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, acknowledged the contributions of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited certification body, in the creation of a comprehensive model for manufacturing skill credentialing.
The January 16 workshop will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Alabama. The workshop will last from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and has a $50 registration fee for each participant, which includes refreshments and meals. Interested individuals and groups may register online here until Monday, January 7, 2013. Space is limited and registration will be limited to four representatives from each organization.
For more information about the workshop, please visit the U.S. government's Advanced Manufacturing Portal website.