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Manufacturing Policy Portal [beta]

Hosted by the Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy (CSTI)

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Manufacturing R&D

Manufacturing R&D

There are several notable documents addressing manufacturing R&D in the United States, both emanating from government and academia.

2012 – Executive Office of the President/PCAST

2014 – Executive Office of the President/PCAST

2013 – MIT/Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE)


In the 2012 report “Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing”, the AMP Steering Committee recommends increasing R&D funding in eleven “top cross-cutting technologies”.

  • Advancing Sensing, Measurement, and Process Control (including Cyber-Physical Systems)
  • Advanced Materials Design, Synthesis, and Processing
  • Visualization, Informatics, and Digital Manufacturing Technologies
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Nanomanufacturing
  • Flexible Electronics Manufacturing
  • Biomanufacturing and Bioinformatics
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Testing Equipment
  • Industrial Robotics
  • Advanced Forming and Joining Technologies

While the technologies highlighted are not accompanied by detailed roadmaps, the list arises from consultations the committee had with key stakeholder groups, including the AMP Steering Committee itself, AMP Steering Committee Regional Meeting participants, and members of MAPI, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

The more recent document, Accelerating U.S. Advanced Manufacturing, follows up on this call to increase R&D Funding in top cross‐cutting technologies, noting that the Administration’s proposed $2.2 billion in advanced manufacturing R&D in FY13 Budget represents a nearly 20% increase over the prior year.  The latest report also stresses the importance of coordinating R&D in advanced manufacturing as part of the national strategy, e.g., within manufacturing centres of excellence.


Published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of their Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) study, Trends in Advanced Manufacturing Technology Innovation is a chapter summarising trends in technology R&D “that relate to the current and future state of advanced manufacturing”. This work identifies seven key manufacturing technology categories.

  • Nano-engineering of Materials and Surfaces
  • Additive and Precision Manufacturing
  • Robotics and Adaptive Automation
  • Next Generation Electronics
  • Continuous Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Manufacturing
  • Design and Management of Distributed Supply Chains
  • Green Sustainable Manufacturing

This document expands further to compile a list of 24 technology areas related to manufacturing.

Manufacturing Process Innovation

  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Coatings
  • Continuous Process Control
  • Flexible Electronics
  • Semiconductors
  • Printed Electronics
  • Manufacturing/refining of biofuels
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical
  • Optoelectronics and Photonics

New Materials and Multi-Scale Mfg

  • Material Genomics
  • Composite Materials
  • Lightweight Material
  • Meta-Materials

Automation and Precision Manufacturing

  • Smart Automation
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Precision Manufacturing

Manufacturing Systems

  • Supply Chain and Logistics
  • IT for Manufacturing
  • Adaptive and Flexible Manufacturing
  • Mfg Simulation and Visualization

Sustainability in Manufacturing

  • Mfg using recycled materials
  • Energy efficient manufacturing

Measurement and Testing

  • Advanced Sensing
  • Advanced Metrology


It is noteworthy that within the US system, the government and its advisors set priorities that do not entirely align with academic studies of the manufacturing R&D landscape, though close scrutiny of the lists reveals a fair degree of commonality.