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The resiliency and determination of America’s sense of justice was thrust into a spirit of rejoicing on Sunday evening May 1, 2011, when President Barack Obama addressed the world, confirming Osama bin Laden’s demise in Pakistan.  While watching the breaking TV news coverage, I began to share that sense of accomplishment and joy, less for the act of neutralizing the thought leader and chief architect of 9/11 and other atrocities against Americans, and more for the fortitude and resolve demonstrated by the U.S. commander-in-chief, our military forces, and intelligence agencies.  I found myself thinking of what this type of public resolve implies for the future state of our Manufacturing economy in the U.S., whose resurgence is essential to the country’s defenses, global leadership, and the health and prosperity of our citizens, along with those of other democratic nations.

Cisco’s Chet Namboodri, Global Director for Manufacturing Industry Solutions and Marketing, discusses the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) proposals for Revitalizing American Manufacturing.

President Obama’s determination coming into office in January 2009 to recommit U.S. resources to bring justice to bin Laden, and the U.S. intelligence and military’s subsequent success bodes well as I consider his commitment to U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, infrastructure build-out and job creation articulated during the President’s January 2011 State of the Union address.  During the last several quarters, I have had the privilege to present on behalf of Cisco to the Office of the President as part of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), a broad cross section of manufacturers, technology suppliers, manufacturing consortia, government laboratories and research universities across industry segments pulling together to recommend programs to revitalize U.S. manufacturing.

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SMLC ‘Smart Manufacturing’ programs convene companies, universities, labs and manufacturing consortia to collaborate with government agencies to standardize the secure convergence of IT with industrial control and optimization software and enhance industrial plant and supply chain data visibility and responsiveness.  SMLC establishes a clearinghouse, gateway and technology transfer platform for core and community sourced simulation and modeling tools that unleash more meaningful uses for this “manufacturing intelligence.”  SMLC supports access by small, medium and large enterprises, to facilitate shorter cycles and wider adoption across entire industries.

Government funding stimulates new overall investment and is needed to make economically viable the development, application and training associated with these transformational technologies.  For example, the European Union funded 1.2B Euros for a “Factories of the Future” public-private partnership in 2009, as part of a stimulus package.  The EU recognizes that Manufacturing is the backbone for sustainable growth of a 21st century economy.

Please let me know what you think (i.e., please COMMENT) about public-private partnerships as a means to help unify the nation to focus and fund the sustainable revitalization of American manufacturing for global competitiveness and economic prosperity.

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6 Comments.


  1. Chet, it is good to see that the US (& UK) Govts are recognising & getting behind the fact that manufacturing scale & leadership is the only way for countries to generate long term economic growth, stability & prosperity. It will be interesting to follow how much investment the US Govt puts in over the long term to the US manufacturing sector.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Guy. Indeed, time will tell how committed U.S. (and UK) governments are to strengthening and sustaining manufacturing economies, over the long haul.

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  2. Stuart Robinson

    Hi Chet

    In these days of austerity right across the globe productivity and job creation will only occur when public sector $s are re-distributed to the private sector. All the ’09 stimulus packages have kick-started the new economies but we need more to create the new wealth, profits and prosperity.

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    • Stuart – wow! Thank you for your comment, and I agree with you that we need to continue to fuel this manufacturing-led recovery from the Great Recession, with holistic public-private partner programs that resource innovation, infrastructure, standards unification, education and best practice sharing. This is the intent with the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition.

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      • Kevin Davenport
        Kevin Davenport

        Hi Chet,

        Very interesting and timely blog. The main engine that drives capitalism in a “true” democratic society is innovation, creativity and a sheer passion and desire to produce products and solutions that adds value to the quality of life and environment. With that said….you need money and investment to make innovation a reality.

        The biggest long term threat to the US manufacturing sector is the divestment considerations and actions being taken by our public entities toward our educational institutions and infrastructure. Ironically, this in large part is due to an eroding tax base that was spawned by, in some instances, entire manufacturing industries and the ecosystem supporting it migrating overseas.

        So, I believe public-private partnerships are paramount in revitalizing our economy and global competitiveness. The public sector must inject investment into the private sector (educational and business institutions), and in turn the private sector must re-deposit profits back into the public sector, specifically our educational system.

        A current example of this revitalization paradigm is GE Appliances & Lighting unit ( http://www.bloomberg.com/video/68368552/ ). Where James Campbell, chief executive officer, discusses the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and the company’s initiative to create more domestic jobs.

        Main point. Own and control the whole manufacturing value cycle. Interesting. Moving away from outsourcing.

        Stay tuned……

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