NEC and Deloitte Release New Report on Advanced Manufacturing in New England
On Wednesday, April 8, The New England Council and Deloitte released a new report, “Advanced to Advantageous: The Case for New England’s Manufacturing Revolution,” that dispels the notion that manufacturing is declining in the region, assesses the region’s strengths and advantages, identifies future opportunities for collaboration and investment in advanced manufacturing, and provides a roadmap for increased economic growth and global competitiveness. The report, which updates and expands upon a 2010 NEC-Deloitte study, was released at an event at Bank of America in downtown Boston.
“Advanced to Advantageous” makes the case that the New England region is poised to experience a manufacturing revolution due to a combination of existing advantages and the replication and widespread adoption of a number of progressive programs and initiatives that the report terms “islands of excellence.” The report identifies areas where New England is setting the pace in advanced manufacturing – industry clusters such as aerospace and defense and medical devices and biotechnology, as well as capability clusters like software and artificial intelligence and advanced materials – and discusses a number of game changing disruptive technologies, like additive manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT), that will increasingly help position the region to be a leader in advanced manufacturing’s “next wave” of innovation.
The report calls for the creation of a “program office” in each state to help coordinate and oversee the implementation of its recommendations, and work in concert with other New England states to facilitate stronger collaboration between stakeholders across the region. Among the report’s key recommendations:
Secure a federally funded advanced manufacturing center in New England by demonstrating regional cohesion and improving intrastate partnerships between government, educators, and industry. The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) is an initiative launched by the Obama Administration in 2013 to fund a series of advanced manufacturing hubs across the country. New England should work collectively and collaboratively as a region to apply for one of these institutes.
Rebrand the industry and “make it” a better brand by shifting the public’s perception of manufacturing from dirty and dangerous to exciting and safe. This more accurately reflects the reality of today’s “new” advanced manufacturing. By involving students in the “maker movement” from an early age – and engaging their parents, educators, and guidance counselors – regional leaders can help change outdated views of manufacturing and attract more interest in manufacturing careers.
Expand industry partnership and apprenticeship opportunities so that students are increasingly matched with open industry positions and trained in critical skills necessary for a career in advanced manufacturing.
In addition to the event in Boston on April 8, the Council and Deloitte plan to present the report at events in all six New England states in the coming months. For more information on the New England Council’s efforts to support the advanced manufacturing sector in New England, please visit the Advanced Manufacturing section.
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