The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a request for information (RFI) on October 5, 2021, requesting input on the development of a National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing. 86 Fed. Reg. 55022. Through the RFI, OSTP seeks input from the public on ways to improve government coordination and on long-term guidance for federal programs and activities in support of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. According to the RFI, advanced manufacturing is a family of activities that: depend on the use and coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking; and/or make use of cutting-edge materials and emerging capabilities enabled by the physical and biological sciences, for example, nanotechnology, chemistry, and biology. Advanced manufacturing involves both new ways to manufacture existing products and the manufacture of new products emerging from new advanced technologies.
OSTP seeks responses to the following questions:
- Which emerging science and technology areas will be key to the next generation of advanced manufacturing for global competitiveness, sustainability, and environmental challenges?
- What should be the near-term and long-term technology development research and development (R&D) priorities for advanced manufacturing, the anticipated timeframe for achieving the objectives, and the metrics in assessing progress toward the objectives?
- What are examples of technological, market, or business challenges that may best be addressed by public-private partnerships and are likely to attract both participation and primary funding from industry?
- How can federal agencies and federally funded R&D centers supporting advanced manufacturing R&D facilitate the transfer of research results, intellectual property, and technology into commercialization and manufacturing for the benefit of society and ensure sustainability, national security, and economic security?
- What is the state of the domestic advanced manufacturing workforce in the United States? How can federal agencies and federally funded R&D centers develop, align, and strengthen all levels of advanced manufacturing education, training, and certification programs to ensure a high-quality, equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce that meets the needs of the sector and drives new advanced manufacturing jobs into the future?
- How can the federal government assist in the development of regional public-private partnerships to achieve greater distribution of advanced manufacturing clusters or technology hubs, particularly in underserved regions of the country? What outreach and engagement strategies are most useful in promoting development in underserved regions of the country?
- How should the adequacy of the domestic advanced manufacturing supply chain and industrial base be assessed? How can federal agencies assist small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies to adopt advanced technologies and to develop a robust and resilient manufacturing supply chain? What steps can these agencies take to promote the development and diffusion of technology that augments worker skills (rather than substituting for them) and ensures that manufacturing jobs are good jobs?
- Are there useful models (at the international, national, state, and/or local level) that should be expanded?
- The current Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing has three top-level goals, each with objectives and priorities: (1) develop and transition new manufacturing technologies; (2) educate, train, and connect the manufacturing workforce; and (3) expand the capabilities of the domestic manufacturing supply chains. Are these goals appropriate for the next four to five years? Are there additional top-level goals to consider?
- Is there any additional information related to advanced manufacturing in the United States, not requested above, that should be considered?
OSTP states that the public input provided in response to the RFI will inform OSTP and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) as they work with federal agencies and other stakeholders to develop the strategic plan. Responses are due December 17, 2021.