lexander Hamilton said that “Not only the wealth, but the independence and security of a country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufacturers.”
That statement is perhaps even more relevant today than it was 200 years ago. How do we get back to “made in America?” The answer is that the same spirit of innovation and collaboration that once gave us pre-eminence in manufacturing can help us regain our competitiveness, thereby creating jobs, increasing exports and serving as a catalyst for a healthy economy.
In today’s global environment, “made in America” is not enough. We need “invented in America” or, better yet, “invented and manufactured in Georgia.”
Each year, the National Science Board produces a report on Science and Engineering Indicators. The latest report clearly indicates that many countries are making science, engineering and technology a national priority. These fields address important issues, ensure global competitiveness and create new jobs. They also drive world-class innovation, research and development. This requires that we prepare students with the necessary background at all levels: elementary, secondary and post-secondary.
Georgia Tech partners with k-12 schools in a wide variety of programs, ranging from teacher preparation to summer camps for students.
Another key to America’s competitiveness is our ability to move new ideas and innovations quickly from the lab to the manufacturing floor. We can do that through increased cooperation between universities and the public and private sectors.
President Barack Obama recently outlined an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to do just that. In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal, through the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, has acted to ensure that the business community and state government develop a long-term economic strategy. Tech will host one of the regional meetings this month.
Georgia Tech is committed to partnering with business, industry and government in Georgia, as well as nationally, to strengthen our economy. We offer a comprehensive array of economic development programs with representatives in 25 locations around the state. We are a national leader among research universities in collaborative research with industry.
Georgia Tech’s support in manufacturing technology spans research, education, and outreach.
A central focus is provided through the Manufacturing Research Center (MARC), an interdisciplinary research center targeting specific industry needs. Research, outreach and transition activities are also supported by the College of Engineering, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). In many ways, our economic independence is up to us.
Our greatest challenges can be solved through innovation and fostering an entrepreneurial environment, as well as collaboration between industry, education, and government to create a healthy economic environment and an educated workforce.
G. P. “Bud” Peterson is president of Georgia Institute of Technology. He was just named to the newly created Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee.