[Excerpt] In his FY2013 budget, President Obama proposed the creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) to help accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications, and to support manufacturing technology commercialization by bridging the gap between the laboratory and the market.
The NNMI proposal calls for the establishment of up to 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) funded through a one-time infusion of $1 billion in mandatory funding to the Department of Commerce’s National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and carried out over a period of 10 years. Each IMI would be comprised of stakeholders from industry (including large companies and small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises), academia, federal agencies, and state government entities. According to the proposal, each IMI is to be competitively selected, serve as a regional hub for manufacturing innovation (as well as part of the national network), and have a unique focus area (e.g., an advanced material, manufacturing process, enabling technology, or industry sector). The NNMI would be managed collaboratively by NIST, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and other agencies.