Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Administration Issues Advanced Manufacturing Strategic Plan

February 24th, 2012 / in big science, policy, research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

A National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing [image courtesy The White House].The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) issued a new National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing on Wednesday, documenting “the fundamental importance of advanced manufacturing” to the nation’s competitiveness and security and setting forth key objectives and priorities for Federal policy in this space. Among the objectives:

  • Accelerating investment, especially by small- and medium-sized manufacturers;
  • Making the education and training system more responsive to the demand for skills;
  • Optimizing Federal advanced manufacturing R&D investments by taking a portfolio perspective;
  • Increasing total public and private investments in advanced manufacturing R&D; and
  • Fostering national and regional partnerships among all stakeholders in advanced manufacturing.

Of particular interest are four categories of investments that “help to position promising, nascent technologies for broad adoption and commercialization” (after the jump):

The Federal Government makes investments in advanced manufacturing R&D and in some kinds of plants and equipment that private industry typically avoids… These investments can be grouped into the following four categories:


  • Advanced Materials
  • Production Technology Platforms
  • Advanced Manufacturing Processes
  • Data and Design Infrastructure


These four categories encompass the entire spectrum of relevant advanced manufacturing technology investments, from materials that will go into the products of the future to the factory and enterprise processes that enable production… Creating a coordinated Federal portfolio of investments across these four categories will increase the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and help to create a fertile domestic environment for innovation.

The last one — Data and Design Infrastructure — is summarized as follows:

The ability to integrate all three types of innovation described above — advanced materials, product technology platforms, and advanced manufacturing processes — requires effective use of large quantities of manufacturing data and sophisticated design knowledge. Decisions that draw on such data and knowledge to achieve this integration can reduce the time for process improvements to be instituted and for products to reach customers. Data and design infrastructure, such as modeling standards for products and processes, interface standards for functional and physical connections between components, and mechanisms for flexible system integration, make integrated decision-making of this sort far easier and more accessible, especially for [small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)].


The manufacturing initiative of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) within the DOD includes a number of elements that will strengthen the advanced manufacturing data and design infrastructure. For instance, the initiative seeks to develop design tools that enable correct-by-construction design through model-based verification for complex cyber-physical defense systems. It also seeks to create a bit-stream-configurable “foundry” capable of rapid switch-over across product variants and families leading to mass customization.

To learn more, check out the entire plan.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Administration Issues Advanced Manufacturing Strategic Plan

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