PROVIDENCE – Bridging the gap between cutting edge research and new commercial applications is central to America’s future in advanced manufacturing, the director of a new federal manufacturing initiative told industry and government leaders gathered at the Rhode Island School of Design Tuesday morning.
Michael F. Molnar, chief manufacturing officer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, called the “scaling up” of emerging technologies into new products the “missing middle” in what he sees as a new “golden age” of American manufacturing.
“How do you take a paper and make a new industry,” Molnar said, adding that other countries have “learned to partner” better to fill that gap.
The NIST is leading a new partnership between nine federal agencies to promote advanced manufacturing in the United States and is setting up a pilot institute for manufacturing innovation.
The pilot institute program is intended to serve as the model for 15 federal institutes with advanced equipment around the country to be used by companies and form the start of research clusters.
Molnar was speaking at an event on advanced manufacturing sponsored by the New England Council and included U.S. Reps., David Cicilline and James R. Langevin of Rhode Island and John Larson and Joseph Courtney of Connecticut.