US manufacturing partnership to benefit robotics

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), announced today by President Obama, aims to join industry, universities, and the federal government in developing technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness.

Jun 24th, 2011

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), announced today by President Obama, aims to join industry, universities, and the federal government in developing technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness. The $500 million investment will pull together existing and future funds in several manufacturing-related areas that will impact machine vision and image processing technologies. Included in the funding is a $70 million initiative to advanceindustrial and service robotics for factories, surgery, healthcare, defense, and space.

The AMP is being developed based on the recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report: “Ensuring Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.” The universities initially involved in the partnership will be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and University of Michigan. The manufacturers initially involved will be Allegheny Technologies, Caterpillar, Corning, Dow Chemical, Ford, Honeywell, Intel, Johnson and Johnson, Northrop Grumman, Procter and Gamble, and Stryker.

Steps by the federal government

* Building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries: Starting this summer, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Agriculture, Commerce and other agencies will coordinate a government-wide effort to leverage their existing funds and future budgets, with an initial goal of $300 million, to co-invest with industry in innovative technologies that will jumpstart domestic manufacturing capability essential to our national security and promote the long-term economic viability of critical U.S. industries. Initial investments include small high-powered batteries, advanced composites, metal fabrication, bio-manufacturing, and alternative energy, among others.

* Reducing the time to develop and deploy advanced materials: The Materials Genome Initiative, would invest more than $100M in research, training and infrastructure to enable U.S. companies to discover, develop, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials at twice the speed than is possible today, at a fraction of the cost. In much the same way that advances in silicon technology helped create the modern information technology industry, advanced materials will fuel emerging multi-billion dollar industries aimed at addressing challenges in manufacturing, clean energy, and national security.

* Investing in next-generation robotics: The National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health and the Department of Agriculture are coming together to make available today $70 million to support research in next generation robots. These investments will help create the next generation of robots that will work closely with human operators--allowing new ability for factory workers, healthcare providers, soldiers, surgeons and astronauts to carry out key hard-to-do tasks.

* Developing innovative energy-efficient manufacturing processes: The Department of Energy will launch an effort to leverage their existing funds and future budgets, with initial goal of $120 million to develop innovative manufacturing processes and materials to enable companies to cut the costs of manufacturing, while using less energy.

Additional steps

* Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency exploration of new approaches that have potential to dramatically reduce – by up to a factor of 5 – the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods while enabling entrepreneurs to meet Defense Department needs.

* Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and University of Michigan commitment to form a multi-university collaborative framework for sharing of educational materials and best practices relating to advanced manufacturing and its linkage to innovation. The universities will also join together with industry partners and leading government agencies to define research opportunities and build a collaborative roadmap for identify key technology priorities.

* Commerce Department development of an advanced manufacturing technology consortium, starting with $12 million in FY12, to identify public private partnerships to tackle common technological barriers to the development of new products.

* Proctor & Gamble announcement that it will make available advanced software at no cost to American small and mid-sized manufacturers through the recently launched Midwest Modeling and Simulation consortium. This is a highly valuable digital design tool usually unavailable to smaller firms.

* Department of Energy launch of an initiative with the Ford Motor Company and the National Association of Manufacturers to make use of the Department’s National Training & Education Resource to educate and train a new generation of manufacturers.

* Defense Department investments, funded at $24 million in FY11, in domestic manufacturing technology that address urgent operational needs including improvements for transparent armor, stealth technology, and targeting systems. The Department is also developing an online marketplace to increase domestic manufacturing capacity in industries critical to our national security by connecting U.S. manufacturers with product needs at the Department and other federal agencies.

RIA endorses

Speaking for the Robotics Industries Association, President Jeff Burnstein said, “I am delighted to see that the Obama Administration is committed to making significant investments in advanced manufacturing and robotics, especially in research and development that can lead to new advances which will help revive American manufacturing.”

“We have watched countries in Europe and Asia invest heavily in robotics, and it’s good to see the US make this commitment, too,” said Dean Elkins of Yaskawa Motoman, a leading global robotics manufacturer, and, Chairman of RIA.” There’s no doubt that robotics is one of the most important technologies of the 21st century and the National Robotics Initiative will play an important role in advancing robotics developments,” Elkins added.

SOURCE:White House

--Posted by Conard Holton
Vision Systems Design

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