NEC and Deloitte Release New Advanced Manufacturing Report

Study examines state of industry throughout region, makes recommendations to promote future prosperity

BOSTON (April 8, 2015) – The New England Council (NEC) and Deloitte today 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, is available on the New England Council’s website.

“Time and again, manufacturing and higher education organizations across New England have told me how invaluable our 2010 report has been to them as they seek to rebound from the recession and train the skilled workforce our region requires,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council.  “Our hope is that this new report builds on the progress of the first, and helps drive a broader discussion among public and private sector stakeholders about how we collaboratively invest in and support advanced manufacturing to both promote sustained economic growth in every corner of New England and strengthen our regional competitive advantage.”

“As an organization that is deeply committed to our clients and our communities, Deloitte is proud to continue our work with The New England Council and to support the region’s thriving ecosystem of advanced manufacturers, innovators and educators that are driving real progress in job creation and economic growth in New England,” said Mark Price, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The report was released today at an event hosted by Bank of America in downtown Boston.  Following a presentation of the report, a panel of industry representatives discussed the report and offered their thoughts on its recommendations.  The panelists include:

  • Dr. Ahmed Busnaina, WL Smith Chair and University Distinguished Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University
  • Jack Healy, President & CEO, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
  • Marty Jones, President & CEO, MassDevelopment
  • Thomas Wesley, Director, Waters Corporation

Approximately 100 local business and government leaders attended the event.

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region.  The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England.  The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange.  For more information, please visit:

About Deloitte Consulting LLP

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