Making Value: Integrating Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation to Thrive in the Changing Global Economy

  • AuthorNational Academy of Engineering
  • TitleMaking Value: Integrating Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation to Thrive in the Changing Global Economy
  • PublisherNational Academies Press
  • Release DateSeptember 18, 2012
  • Copyright2012
  • ISBN978-0-309-26448-8

Manufacturing is in a period of dramatic transformation. But in the United States, public and political dialogue focuses almost entirely on the movement of some manufacturing jobs overseas to low-wage countries. Yet there has been a recent uptick in US manufacturing employment and output, and manufacturing is changing in ways that may favor American ingenuity. Rapid advances in biomanufacturing, robotics, smart sensors, cloud-based computing, and nanotechnology put a premium on continual innovation and highly skilled workers. In addition, smaller runs and custom-designed products favor agile and adaptable workplaces, business models, and employees, all of which have become a specialty in the United States. On June 11–12, 2012, the National Academy of Engineering hosted a workshop to discuss the new world of manufacturing and how to position the United States to thrive in it, with a focus not just on making things but on making value, the quality that will underlie high-paying jobs in America’s future. This report summarizes the workshop and the topics discussed.