Advanced ManufacturingThe New American Innovation Policies

Advanced ManufacturingThe New American Innovation Policies

Willian B. Bonvillian and Peter L. Singer

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780262037037

Publisher: The MIT Press


The United States lost almost one-third of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010. As higher-paying manufacturing jobs are replaced by lower-paying service jobs, income inequality has been approaching third world levels. In particular, between 1990 and 2013, the median income of men without high school diplomas fell by an astonishing 20 percent, and that of men with high school diplomas fell by a painful 13 percent. Innovation has been left largely to software and IT startups, and increasingly U.S. firms operate on a system of “innovate here/produce there,” leaving the manufacturing sector behind. This book explores how to rethink innovation and revitalize America's declining manufacturing sector. It argues that advanced manufacturing, which employs such innovative technologies as 3-D printing, advanced material, photonics, and robotics in the production process, is the key. The book discusses transformative new production paradigms that could drive up efficiency and drive down costs. It describes the new processes and business models that must accompany them, and explores alternative funding methods for startups that must manufacture. The book examines the varied attitudes of mainstream economics toward manufacturing, the post-Great Recession policy focus on advanced manufacturing, and lessons from the new advanced manufacturing institutes. Finally, it considers the problem of “startup scale-up,” possible new models for training workers, and the role of manufacturing in addressing “secular stagnation” in innovation, growth, the middle classes, productivity rates, and related investment.