The New American Innovation Policies
416 pp., 6 x 9 in, 6 figures
- Published: January 12, 2018
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: January 5, 2018
- Publisher: The MIT Press
How to rethink innovation and revitalize America's declining manufacturing sector by encouraging advanced manufacturing, bringing innovative technologies into the production process.
The United States lost almost one-third of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010. As higher-paying manufacturing jobs are replaced by lower-paying service jobs, income inequality has been approaching third world levels. In particular, between 1990 and 2013, the median income of men without high school diplomas fell by an astonishing 20% between 1990 and 2013, and that of men with high school diplomas or some college fell by a painful 13%. Innovation has been left largely to software and IT startups, and increasingly U.S. firms operate on a system of “innovate here/produce there,” leaving the manufacturing sector behind. In this book, William Bonvillian and Peter Singer explore how to rethink innovation and revitalize America's declining manufacturing sector. They argue that advanced manufacturing, which employs such innovative technologies as 3-D printing, advanced material, photonics, and robotics in the production process, is the key.
Bonvillian and Singer discuss transformative new production paradigms that could drive up efficiency and drive down costs, describe the new processes and business models that must accompany them, and explore alternative funding methods for startups that must manufacture. They examine the varied attitudes of mainstream economics toward manufacturing, the post-Great Recession policy focus on advanced manufacturing, and lessons from the new advanced manufacturing institutes. They consider the problem of “startup scaleup,” possible new models for training workers, and the role of manufacturing in addressing “secular stagnation” in innovation, growth, the middle classes, productivity rates, and related investment. As recent political turmoil shows, the stakes could not be higher.
On factory floors across our country, workers are pushing the boundaries of what our manufacturing sector can create. Within these pages, William Bonvillian and Peter Singer tell the past, present, and future story of American manufacturing, an enduring story of resilience, ingenuity, and pride.
Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III
American manufacturing suffered a severe setback during the 2008-09 Great Recession, and its decline has continued since then. Bonvillian and Singer trace the causes of the ongoing decline, as well as its destructive consequences on middle income wages. Importantly, their analysis also offers a prescription for recovery. While the complexity of 'legacy economic sectors' like manufacturing makes them resist change, this book describes an innovation agenda that could renew the competitiveness of American manufacturing.
Susan Hockfield, President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this timely book, Bonvillian and Singer tell the vitally important but unknown story of the Obama administration's advanced manufacturing initiative. In stark contrast to the conventional economic and political wisdom, they delineate a set of policies that would significantly strengthen the U.S. economy. If only Washington would pay attention.
Fred Block, Research Professor, University of California, Davis
Bonvillian and Singer link economic history and theory, in a well-documented analysis of centuries of progress followed by fifty years of U.S. manufacturing decline. They illuminate a path forward. Well worth the read.
John A. Elliott, Dean, University of Connecticut School of Business, and Fox Chair in Management
An extraordinarily complete and important treatment of why U.S. manufacturing declined in the twenty-first century, and the new production paradigms that can transform it into a robust and productive sector again. A fascinating must-read for business and government leaders on how to re-establish manufacturing in the U.S., and the pathways that offers towards improving our economic prosperity.
Ira Moskowitz, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Programs, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, former Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Operations, Analog Devices, Inc.