The Presidential Planner: Obama Launches $500 Million Manufacturing Partnership In Pittsburgh

Jun 24, 2011 8:01am

ABC News' Mary Bruce reports:

Today the president will visit Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. to announce a new $500 million manufacturing initiative to encourage investments in technology and boost job creation.

In a speech this morning, Obama will announce the "“Advanced Manufacturing Partnership,” an effort to bring together industry, universities and the government to determine the best investments to boost America's competitiveness.

“Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together… to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world,” Obama said in a written statement. “With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that ‘invents it here and manufactures it here’ and creates high-quality, good paying jobs for American workers.”

The president is expected to highlight several specific initiatives this morning, including a $70 million project to award grants to companies that are making major advances in robotics and a plan to invest $100 million in “material genomes.”

Before making his announcement this morning, the president will the tour the university’s National Robotics Engineering Center and see a range of cutting-edge technologies that could have the potential to transform and assist the manufacturing sector.

The AMP, which is being developed based on the recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will be led by Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical Corp., on the company side, and MIT president Susan Hockfield on the university side.

“Investing in manufacturing technologies like nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology are critical enablers, critical tools that manufacturers, in a wide variety of applications, can use to become more cost-competitive, to improve quality, and to accelerate product development,” Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom told reporters today.

Bloom did not offer an exact breakdown of the $500 million, but said some of it is funding in the president’s budget while other portions are taken from existing resources.

The president will return to the White House this afternoon.

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