The Future of Advanced Manufacturing in the United States
Toward the Development of a National Strategy

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President of the United States to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other federal agencies. PCAST is consulted about and often makes policy recommendations concerning the full range of policy issues in the domains of science, technology, and innovation. One topic it is currently addressing is advanced manufacturing.

During a recent workshop, PCAST invited advanced manufacturing experts to provide their response to the following questions:

  • What scientific and technical developments apply to a wide range of advanced manufacturing industries?
  • What are some possible new concepts of advanced manufacturing that might apply to a wide range of industries?
  • What is the appropriate role of government science and technology programs and policies in advanced manufacturing?
  • What are historical examples where federal or state science and technology programs, policies, or activities have enhanced advanced manufacturing?
  • What federal government science and technology programs or policies, if any, should be put into place to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies by industry?
  • What broad infrastructural improvements are critical for new versus existing enterprises? Where do public/private partnerships play a crucial role?

Background papers on each of these questions are available at

Following this workshop, PCAST had a number of questions where they believe additional input from the public would be useful. These questions are listed below. PCAST asks that you provide your responses to any or all of them by Tuesday, April 20, 2010.

You may also submit comments, including attachments, at

About this Site

Q. Why did you create this site?
A. PCAST is interested in gathering public comments on the topic of advanced manufacturing. This website provides a tool that encourages the public to share ideas with PCAST. Rather than offer a traditional "suggestion box," this site allows the public to share their ideas with PCAST, discuss them with each other, and vote or express agreement/disagreement with the ideas, and, as a result, the most popular ideas "rise to the top" for closer review by PCAST. This site allows you not only to give us your ideas, but for you to review and weigh in on the ideas of others—and, ultimately, enables PCAST to better understand and respond to your ideas.

Q. How does this site work?
A. You can use the site in three ways:

  • Share - Contribute an idea for others to comment on (requires log-in)
  • Discuss - Read ideas and comments (no log-in required) or comment on existing ideas (requires log-in)
  • Vote - Agree or disagree with an idea, moving it "up" or "down" and increasing or decreasing its popularity (requires log-in)
User ideas, comments and votes will be posted on the site and will be available to everyone. We will not edit your ideas or comments, but they may be deleted by moderators if they violate the Terms of Participation, or removed from this conversation if they are deemed to be off-topic. To learn more about our moderation policy, read the Terms of Participation.

Q. How can I add an idea?
A. Add your idea by clicking on the "Sign-up & Share Ideas" button. If you do this without being logged in, you will be prompted to log in or create a new account. Doing this requires only an e-mail address and the creation of a password. Users also have the option to login using their existing login credentials on AOL, Google, Yahoo! or WordPress.

Q. How can I comment on an existing idea?
A. In addition to submitting ideas, this site lets you discuss others' ideas. To do this, select an idea you want to comment on and click the "Comments" link below it. Click "Post New Comment." If you haven't logged in, you will be required to do so first before entering your comment.

Q. How does voting work?
A. This site provides you with the chance to vote on others' ideas by assigning either a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating. You can vote based on whether you think an idea is useful, innovative, practical, or any other criteria you want to use; it's up to you! Each user can only vote once on each idea.

To register your vote, click on the "I Agree" or "I Disagree" links in the box next to the idea. If you haven't logged in, you will be required to do so first before voting for an idea.

The number you see next to each idea is the "net vote," or the number of votes in favor of an idea minus the number of votes against it. For example, an idea with a rating of 5 might have received 50 positive votes, and 45 negative ones. By using this voting system, we ensure that the ideas with the most net positive votes – the ones that receive the most support from the community – "rise to the top" where the agency hosting the discussion can see and respond to them.

You can view ideas with the most votes by clicking the "Most Popular" tab at the top of the ideas. Alternative, you can view the most current ideas by clicking the "Most Recent" tab.

Q. Why do I need to log in to submit an idea, comment on an idea, or vote for an idea?
A. Anonymous posts and comments are not permitted because the Administrative Procedures Act requires that ideas and comments link to a real person (in this case via Log In and an e-mail). It also cuts down on spam and helps keep conversations more civil and honest. PCAST will not use your e-mail address for any other purpose than authenticating you as a user into this discussion. See our privacy policy for more information.

Q. What if I don't want the public to see my name?
A. If you post an idea or comment on someone else's idea, the first part of your e-mail address will be posted next to your comment or idea. For example, if your e-mail address is, then next to your ideas and comments, users will see you identified as "john.smith." Or, if your email address is, users will see "yogamaster" next to your ideas/comments.

If you want to change your name, simply log in and, before posting an idea or a comment or voting on someone else's idea, edit the first and/or last name fields of your profile. You can create any user name you want to identify yourself by using these fields. Once you do that, users will see the names you selected when you post your ideas and comments. For more information, visit

Q. I have an idea that I want to share but I can't/don't want to use this tool. Can I share my idea in other ways?
A. If you can't or don't want to use this tool, you can send your idea to PCAST directly at

Q. What is your moderation policy?
A. Our moderation policy is under our Terms of Participation.

Q. What is your privacy policy?
A. Learn more about our privacy policy.

Q. What internet browser / settings do I need to view this site?
A. This site is best viewed using: Internet Explorer 7.0 and above and Firefox. In order to view and use all options on our site, you will need java script and cookie support enabled on your browser.

Q. Who manages this site?
A. The U.S. General Services Administration administers and supports this site on behalf of a number of federal agencies. The software is powered by IdeaScale.

Q. Who moderates this site?
A. PCAST moderates this site and the discussions on the site. To learn more about our moderation policy, please read the Terms of Participation.