U.S. Congress Holds Briefing on National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

Yesterday, the four lead sponsors of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act (S. 1468 & H.R. 2996), Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joseph Kennedy (D-MA), jointly hosted a special congressional briefing on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker served as keynote speaker at the well-attended briefing. In addition, two panels were held. One panel consisted of companies that currently participate in the recently launched Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs), which included Steve Betza, Lockheed Martin’s corporate director for Advanced Manufacturing & Development and member of the IPC Board of Directors. Betza told the audience that Lockheed Martin is a Tier 1 member at all four of the established IMIs and he discussed the high level of collaboration taking place. The second panel comprised representatives from three of the four IMIs that were established:

  • Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute,
  • America Makes – National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and
  • Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

The industry and institute panelists addressed the benefits and impacts of the NNMI, highlighted the activities of the four recently established IMIs, and expressed the need for the pending RAMI Act to be enacted into law. To help in understanding, a display area for the existing IMIs was set up, where congressional staff could witness firsthand innovative technologies like the 3-D printer in the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute display.

IPC thanks Senators Brown and Blunt as well as Representatives Reed and Kennedy for their leadership on the RAMI Act.  This past Monday, the House of Representatives passed its version of the RAMI Act by voice vote.  IPC applauds the House action on the bill and strongly urges the Senate to pass its bill before Congress adjourns for the year.

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