Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013
“This country’s manufacturing base lies at the epicenter of efforts to address some of our greatest economic challenges,” said Congressman Kennedy. “From still-stubborn unemployment rates to trade deficits and income inequality: a national manufacturing policy is essential to putting this country back on solid economic footing. This national network will be smart and strategic in addressing perennial manufacturing challenges, building an infrastructure from the local level up that is directly tapped into the unique regional challenges US manufacturers face. Best of all, these institutes will be incubators for the kind of strong, middle-class workforce that our economic recovery depends on. I’m grateful that Congressman Reed would join me in this effort and look forward to building on the broad bipartisan support we have already received.
--Congressman Joe Kennedy III
REED-KENNEDY REVITALIZE AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND INNOVATION ACT
In August, Congressman Kennedy and his colleague Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act of 2013. This legislation would create a network of regional institutes across the country, each focused on a unique technology, material, or process relevant to advanced manufacturing. Comprised of local industry, academia and other stakeholders, the institutes would work to (1) expand research and development, (2) close the gap between R&D and commercialization of products, (3) support small and mid-sized manufacturers, and (4) train a top-tier advanced manufacturing workforce.
RAMI would direct the Secretary of Commerce to support the establishment of institutes across the country dedicated to improving U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing, increasing domestic production and accelerating the development of an advanced manufacturing workforce. Each institute will be a public-private partnership between industry, academia, and other relevant entities. They will be required to focus on a specific and unique manufacturing process, technology, or methodology.
The network would be funded by a one-time, $600 million investment in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It would require support from non-government resources and would prohibit federal financial assistance for any institute beyond a seven-year period. Institutes will be selected for participation and funding through a competitive, merit review process run by the Secretary and NIST.
Funding for RAMI has been included in President Obama’s FY13 and FY14 budget. In 2012 the Administration announced an award via the Department of Defense (DOD) to fund a pilot institute in Youngstown, Ohio focused on additive manufacturing, which is successfully running to this day. The Department of Energy and DOD have also solicited proposals for three additional institutes based on the success of the first, which would be incorporated into the network upon successful passage of RAMI.