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19th March 2015, Washington, DC

US President launches competition for new textiles-focused Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

US President Barack Obama announced yesterday $500 million in public-private investment to strengthen American manufacturing by investing in cutting-edge technologies through a new, textiles-focused manufacturing institute competition led by the Department of Defense, and by sharpening the capabilities of small manufacturers through Manufacturing Extension Partnership competitions in twelve states.

The White House, as detailed in a new report, says it is also launching a Supply Chain Innovation Initiative focused on building public-private partnerships to strengthen the small US manufacturers that anchor the nation’s supply chains.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, to create jobs and strengthen America’s leadership in advanced manufacturing technology, provides the resources to double the number of manufacturing innovation institutes nationwide to 16 by the end of 2016 and fulfils the President’s goal of building a network of up to 45 institutes over the decade.

In contrast, a White House statement said, the House Republican Budget released yesterday entrenches the harmful sequester levels of funding and proposes to eliminate the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, putting at risk critical investments in advanced manufacturing, workforce development and training, and innovation proposed in the President’s Budget.”

Adding new manufacturing jobs

According to the US government, after a decade of decline in the 2000s when 40% of all large factories closed their doors, American manufacturing is adding jobs at its fastest rate in decades, with 877,000 new manufacturing jobs created since February 2010.

In addition to announcing new competitions for nearly $500 million in public and private investment the President is calling on Congress to do its part to make the bipartisan investments needed to strengthen manufacturing across the United States.

New Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute

President Obama plans investment of more than $150 million for a new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition.

As part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, each manufacturing institute serves as a regional hub for leadership in emerging manufacturing technologies, bridging the gap between early research and product development by bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the United States.

The new competition, kicked off by the Department of Defense is the ninth manufacturing innovation institute competition launched by the Administration to date, joining the eight institutes already underway.

According to the government, The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute will ensure that America remains at the leading edge of fibre science, through a $75 million public investment matched by more than $75 million of private investment in researching, prototyping, and commercializing fibres with extraordinary properties.

The White House statement said: “Known as technical textiles, these modern-day fabrics and fibres boast novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength and electronic sensors. With wide-ranging applications, technical textiles can forge the foundation of protective gear for fire fighters impervious to the hottest flames, replicate the sensing capabilities of a smart watch into a lightweight fabric, or detect when a wounded soldier needs to be treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage.

After a decade of decline in U.S. manufacturing during the 2000s, the American textile industry is adding jobs for the first time in two decades, increasing shipments by nearly a fifth since the recession, and winning globally with a 45 % increase in exports since 2009. Today’s announcement builds on this momentum in American textile manufacturing and lays the foundation for future leadership in the production of sophisticated fibres and textile technologies.

For the latest on the new institute competition, please visit Manufacturing.gov.

White House and Department of Commerce report on strengthening small manufacturers

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Comments

  • Christopher Farley 25th March 2015 13:37PM

    Great news for the textile industry and hopefully will lap into garment manufacturing. Real change is on the horizon and automation will become prolific. Combined with modern PLM and Automation the factories of the future will begin to appear. Gone are the days of thousands of people at machines but hello to sustainable home produced products once again, not based solely on Low Cost Labor or unsustainable environmental practices. New Products, New Practices and new Factories!

  • Mary Hitzeman 21st March 2015 14:58PM

    I think the hemp textile industry has a wonderful chance for growth in the United States. An all natural product that is sustainable and worth investing in. Thank you President Obama for helping to improve our country and bring back our industries..

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