Learning From Germany re Advanced Manufacturing, Including 3-D Printing and Nanotechnology

16 January 2013 Cleantech & Nano Publication

In Germany this week on business which has me thinking about some things related to Germany. For example, what can we learn from Germany and their relative economic success, including energy policy and manufacturing? Important current article in Technology Review reviews the current debate on manufacturing and the wisdom in looking to Germany for clues. Advanced manufacturing, including 3-D printing and nanotechnology, are important themes. The cited Brookings study (2012) has more information about Germany, including its R&D networks, continuous vocational training, stable access to financing, and long term approaches to problem solving. Of course, one also has to review the progress in other countries also including Japan and South Korea.

I reproduced part of the Technology Review article below:

“…, the White House has proposed a series of measures to accelerate advanced manufacturing, including an additional $418 million for advanced manufacturing R&D (a 19 percent increase over current levels); $8 billion in new funding for community colleges to train people with the skills manufacturers need; a bundle of tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers; and a $1 billion program to create 15 national institutes aimed at developing new manufacturing techniques in areas such as 3-D printing and nanotechnology.”

“The government’s approach has a committed chorus of supporters who believe active intervention is needed. In February, the Brookings Institution released a paper arguing for a manufacturing policy similar to that of Germany. That country, which carefully manages its manufacturing sector, still maintains a trade surplus with China and has lost fewer of its manufacturing jobs than the U.S. has.”

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