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MIT hosts White House manufacturing conference

Government officials and regional leaders in industry and academia gathered at MIT on Monday for a day-long forum as part of a White House initiative that aims to turn America’s laboratory advances into new technologies to boost the U.S. economy. The meeting was part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), created by President Obama in June as a national effort to bring together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in new technologies that will “create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness,” according to an MIT/White House press release. The AMP Steering Committee is co-chaired by President Susan J. Hockfield and Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical.

The AMP will deliver specific policy recommendations on manufacturing industries to the Obama administration next spring. The meeting was the second of four regional workshops with a similar aim — the first event was held Oct. 14 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with the next two scheduled to be at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

The event featured an array of 30 talks before an audience of several hundred people. Among those present were Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Professor of Political Science Suzanne Berger, and Raymond S. Stata ’57, chairman of Analog Devices, the Cambridge-based semiconductor firm. The discussion involved finding ways to help manufacturing ideas reach the market and keeping the manufacturing jobs that arise from new ideas in the United States. Patrick announced the creation of a new statewide group, the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, with similar goals to those of AMP.

“There are many in this nation who are convinced that nothing is made in America anymore,” Hockfield said in her opening remarks at the event, according to the MIT News Office. “The truth is that manufacturing remains a key sector of our economy.”

MIT’s participation in the project, Hockfield noted, is in keeping with its long tradition; the Institute was founded 150 years ago, she said, with the “express purpose of accelerating America’s industrial progress.”

—Derek Chang