Making in America

Making in America

From Innovation to Market

By Suzanne Berger

With MIT Task Force on Production in the Innovation Economy

How America can rebuild its industrial landscape to sustain an innovative economy.





How America can rebuild its industrial landscape to sustain an innovative economy.

America is the world leader in innovation, but many of the innovative ideas that are hatched in American start-ups, labs, and companies end up going abroad to reach commercial scale. Apple, the superstar of innovation, locates its production in China (yet still reaps most of its profits in the United States). When innovation does not find the capital, skills, and expertise it needs to come to market in the United States, what does it mean for economic growth and job creation? Inspired by the MIT Made in America project of the 1980s, Making in America brings experts from across MIT to focus on a critical problem for the country.

MIT scientists, engineers, social scientists, and management experts visited more than 250 firms in the United States, Germany, and China. In companies across America—from big defense contractors to small machine shops and new technology start-ups—these experts tried to learn how we can rebuild the industrial landscape to sustain an innovative economy. At each stop, they asked this basic question: “When you have a new idea, how do you get it into the market?” They found gaping holes and missing pieces in the industrial ecosystem.

Even in an Internet-connected world, proximity to innovation and users matters for industry. Making in America describes ways to strengthen this connection, including public-private collaborations, new government-initiated manufacturing innovation institutes, and industry/community college projects. If we can learn from these ongoing experiments in linking innovation to production, American manufacturing could have a renaissance.


$28.00 T ISBN: 9780262019910 264 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures, 6 tables


$17.95 T ISBN: 9780262528375 264 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures, 6 tables


MIT Task Force on Production in the Innovation Economy.


  • Clear, concise writing and dynamic case studies make this a satisfactory read for anyone interested in economics.

    Publishers Weekly


  • Making in America moves beyond anecdotal information and untested speculation to provide unique and useful data that can lead to a rebirth of manufacturing in America. Without economic or political bias, this landmark research explores the essential linkages between education, innovation, capital formation, and product commercialization. What emerges is a researched-based analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of America's evolving industrial ecosystem. Leaders of private industry, government, and academia will find this information invaluable as they make decisions vital to the economic health of our nation.

    Ted Strickland

    Governor of Ohio, 2007–2010

  • Making in America provides a vivid, detailed description of developments in innovation and advanced manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world. It clearly establishes reasons for worry—and hope—about the state of manufacturing in the U.S. And it provides compelling discussions of approaches to rebuilding the American industrial landscape. Making in America is a must-read for business leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, and citizens who want to see a revitalization of U.S. manufacturing in an era of cloud computing, distributed research, and breathtaking developments in 3-D printing, robotics, and other advanced manufacturing techniques.

    David H. Petraeus

    General, U.S. Army (Retired), Chairman, KKR Global Institute

  • Politicians play fast and loose with what it takes to return manufacturing to the USA—this book deals with the root cause of the demise of manufacturing jobs and just how difficult it will be to reverse this trend—a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our economy.

    Craig R. Barrett

    Retired CEO/Chairman, Intel Corporation