From ‘Main Street’ firms to multinationals, improvements possible in funding of research, collaboration among manufacturers.

American_Lightbulb_SmallWhat kinds of industrial production can bring innovation to the American economy? An intensive, long-term study by a group of MIT scholars suggests that a renewed commitment to research and development in manufacturing, sometimes through creative new forms of collaboration, can spur innovation and growth in the United States as a whole.

The findings are outlined in the preview of a report issued by a special MIT commission on innovation, called Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE). Among the approaches the report recommends are new forms of collaboration and risk-sharing — often through public-private partnerships or industry-university agreements — that can enable a wide variety of firms and industries to grow.

The report follows two years of in-depth research on hundreds of firms across various industrial sectors, ranging in size from high-tech startups to small “Main Street” manufacturers and multinational corporations. While there are a variety of reasons why the nation should seek to retain its own manufacturing base, from defense capacities to job creation, the report aims to highlight the larger potential that manufacturing holds for innovation-based economic growth in the United States.

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Source: Peter Dizikes | MIT News | February 22, 2013