Reshoring

    Support RAMI

    Senator Roy Blunt

    Senator Roy Blunt

    We Can’t Get Serious About Manufacturing Soon Enough.

    I support RAMI.

    I read with interest a post on the congressional blog The Hill. In a rare example of cross party cooperation it would appear that the Senate is taking action on supporting growth in our manufacturing sector. Do read the piece but in essence the idea is to set up a national network for manufacturing innovation. This would build on the pilot center/hubs for innovation already set up by the Obama administration.

    Kudos to Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri). I like your style gentlemen — first for working in a true bipartisan manner, and secondly for doing it on something so important. The bill is called Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI). Congressman Tom Reed (R-New York) and Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts) are working in the House of Representatives to get this done.

    The bill is not a done deal so please let your representatives know you support RAMI. Copy and paste this blog in an email to your congressman and senators. I’ve given you a signature line below. Here’s a link to finding your reps addresses.

    We can’t get serious about manufacturing soon enough because the USA needs manufacturing jobs.

    But it’s not only jobs and economic growth. There is also the trade deficit — something we keep ignoring. I’d argue that simply having the capability to make very sophisticated things is a marker of a strong society as well as a strong economy. Innovation is not just about growth — it’s a sign, a signal, of collective creative health. Are we a society moving forward and trying new things? Or are we content to let other countries take the lead?

    Congressman Joe Kennedy III

    Congressman Joe Kennedy III

    I support technological leadership in the USA. I support a strong manufacturing sector.

    We have to make things here in the USA. We cannot build our future entirely on software and the service economy. If we want to build a more stable economy a healthy manufacturing sector is essential. Reshoring makes sense — and staying here with new tech makes even more sense.

    About RAMI: Essentially the proposed law helps take findings in basic research and help bridge the gap to commercial products. If only we’d done this for flat screen displays and lithium ion batteries! Both of those technologies were invented here and commericalized elsewhere. Entrepreneurs don’t generally have the money to “make the translation” of say, a groovy new material into a commercially viable product. This is where government can actually enhance the free market by getting a new technology to the point where it can be commercialized — then letting the market take care of the rest.

    It’s not a new idea, the Germans do this “translation” stuff like mad and they’ve proven it works.

    Let’s make RAMI law before the summer.

    I ______________ support the passage of RAMI. Let’s create a win for America.

     

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    A New Idea for Black Friday

    The concept of Black Friday has me thinking about what we reward as consumers. My idea of shopping has nothing to do with sharp elbows, crowds, or even bargains. The kind of shopping I like is when I find something truly unique, really special and creative or innovative, at a small shop or family business. Best for me if it’s made in America, and of high quality craftsmanship, to me, this is real value — and I’ll buy that, I’ll reward that. That kind of shopping is increasingly hard to do. As I watched CNN this morning I was a bit amazed by all the “news” around the concept of Black Friday. Man-on-the-spot interviews at shopping malls, traffic reports from WalMart,

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    The Innovation State of the Union

    President Obama made mention in his state of the union address that he wishes to expand the National Netowrk for Manufacturing Innovation concept. I wholly applaud the idea, AND, there might be a more fundamental challenge that needs addressed first. I’ve made the acquaintance of a thought leader with her finger on the pulse of where the nation sits in terms of technological readiness to innovate. Her name is Pamela Menges, and she’s President of a high-tech start up in Cincinnati. She’s also a professor at the University of Cincinnati in their Engineering department. Steve Jobs once challenged Obama to find him 30,000 engineers so he could build a plant in California. That challenge remains a big one, and again,

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    Detroit Soup — Serving Hope & Innovation

    As a Michigander I’m always looking for some good vibes on the economy. I found it last night on NBC Nightly News, an inspirational story about Detroit Soup.  It’s not a restaurant, but it does serve soup — and something a lot more precious for down-on-its-luck-Motown — hope. Here’s the concept: Detroit Soup is a monthly dinner to fund creative and entrepreneurial projects. Micro grants are awarded at the dinner. Five dollars ($5.00) is the entry fee and it gets you a simple meal — soup, salad, bread — and a vote. They hold the dinner in an old warehouse. Click over to their site and read their backstory, it’s interesting. Apparently this concept has been happening for over three years.

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    Reshoring – Why It Makes Sense

    It’s a shame that the reshoring trend (of manufacturing back to the USA) will take years to be realized. I’m a fan of course, I’ve written about it here before. Like many trends, it’s emerging in dribs and drabs; and some dispute it’s even really happening. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to raise funds for new manufacturing ventures in the USA. It’s a sad truth today that VC’s are more interested in funding the next iPhone app than a start-up that actually makes something. It’s also not good that the most likely candidates for reshoring — high tech equipment intensive/low labour requirement operations — are very expensive to set up. The business case can be hard

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    How Reshoring Happens

    Briefly noted: The New York Times ran an article this morning about how Starbucks is moving manufacture of pottery mugs to a small shop in East Liverpool, Ohio. This is notable because it’s another example of “reshoring” — that is, bringing manufacturing from China and other cheap (aka slave) labor markets back to the USA. This is how restoring the economy happens, one job at a time. Kudos to Starbucks for being a good corporate citizen, and doing something that is just plain smart as well. Sales from the mugs will help support Starbuck’s Create Jobs for USA Fund. I’ve blogged about both reshoring and the Create Jobs for USA program here before — nice to see it’s an active

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