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10. Absolutely yes with no reservations. Our S & T policy is very much dominated by science practitioners and not by product oriented technologists (at all levels of training). There is some merit to have a separate major technology agency which sets its own policy. This should not be given to the DOC which has really dropped the ball on this for several decades. It would be useful to make this new agency something ...more »
9. Yes, definitely we need a strong workforce at all levels. This however, should be driven by the young where they compete with each other for support and not given a handout without their real participation or commitment. Here, I would liken it to a forgiveness approach (say, loans forgiven over 10 years) if they actually enter into the manufacturing workforce.
8. Yes, if this is done in a concentrated manner and not as an after thought. Basically, we need to know if we are ahead, level, or behind our competition so we can properly invest in the weaker sectors and catch up. The investment would be by all parties (private, industrial, government) who then know where they stand. Government should invest in the weak sectors to jump-start companies who want to take the associated ...more »
7. Yes, especially for fields which are just emerging. Note that the computer industry is not just emerging; the U.S. government has done a great deal to make this happen. However, electro-mechanical systems cuts across all industries (ships, aircraft, manufacturing, autos, instruments, orthotics, construction machinery, etc.) and it has been left dormant for the last 5 decades. In this case, a new tech base can emerge ...more »
6. Yes, if the work meets real product requirements. Much of the university science however, does not meet real requirements and it is difficult for industry to benefit from these results. Normally, universities want a hand-out from industry with little mutual responsibility. Yes, translational research meeting real requirements set by high level leaders in manufacturing development would be of real value. Unfortunately, ...more »
Yes, small firms led by dynamic leaders can fill niche markets and take risks not pursued by large companies. These firms should be given some risk capital to start under a rigorous evaluation. Given success, they would then repay these loans (with nominal interest) without the huge penalty now exacted by venture capital firms.
Yes, if the goals and requirements are set by industry where they put in a matching amount of capital so they share the risk. The difficulty here is to make sure that this is governed by outstanding leaders in the field (as a governing board) so that real products emerge as a result and not popular /personal goals of a select few people in a position of power (think of the problems in this case for Russia- very good science ...more »
Yes, innovation for manufacturing is as critical (more so) than innovation in any other field in that it produces products that can be sold across our borders as well as meet our own human needs. The real culprit is the disincentive of the DoD offset program which has diminished our U.S. machine industries dramatically while strengthening our competition. We need a reversal of this offset and an incentive program to make ...more »
No, they already have well defined missions. They already have strong and continuing support. What is needed are university based major laboratories (say, at $20mil/year) distributed throughout the U.S. with strong ties to selected industrial sectors. These FFRDC university labs could pursue high risk, long-term manufacturing research (product development, manufacturing processes and production systems) and generate a ...more »
Yes, these are extremely valuable when the technical risk is high and it requires 4 to 5 years to create a working prototype to truly advance the tech base for manufacturing. This work should lead to a leapfrog result to revolutionize the associated product sector.