On Wednesday, March 1, PowerAmerica Executive Director Nick Justice moderated a session at the U.S. Capitol sponsored by the Senate Competitiveness Caucus and House Manufacturing Caucus titled, “Responding to Global Manufacturing Challenges: The Business Case forManufacturing USA Institutes.” Speakers included Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Tim Ryan, as well as a panel of industry and institute members – Caralynn Collins, CEO of UI Labs/DMDII (a Manufacturing USA institute); Kelvin Lee, director of the newest Manufacturing USA institute, theNational Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL); Jorg Thommes, senior vice president at Visterra; and Raj Batra, president of Siemens USA’s Digital Factory business.
The session also featured a presentation by Deloitte principal Kelly Marchese, titled “Manufacturing USA: A Third Party Evaluation of Program Design and Progress.” The firm conducted a third-party assessment of the institutes, finding them to be a “valid approach.”
The session focused on the successes to date and potential of the Manufacturing USA Institutes, of which there are now 14. The institutes are engaged with industry to advance critical technologies and grow emerging industries in the United States in order to create U.S. manufacturing jobs and stay globally competitive.
PowerAmerica was one of the first Manufacturing USA institutes to be established, and is located on the Centennial Campus of N.C. State University in Raleigh. PowerAmerica is focused on accelerating the development and large-scale adoption of wide bandgap semiconductor technology, which is more energy-efficient than power electronics widely available today. The institute has formed a network of collaboration between manufacturers and end users and funds projects that enhance performance capability, improve reliability and reduce the cost of this technology.