Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez
Today’s manufacturing is increasingly driven by advanced technology and innovation–in some places, the most advanced, where the digital and physical worlds have fully converged. Manufacturing is a central part of our lives and more essential than ever to economic competitiveness and national prosperity. But today, we face an increasingly competitive global environment where America’s technology and innovation leadership faces fresh and persistent challenges.
Figure 1: Advance manufacturing industry facts
In the United States, advanced industries represent 17 percent of GDP. They are a catalyst for innovations that increase productivity and profit margins across the entire economy. They’re a source of high-skill, high-paying jobs—since 1975, average wages in US advanced industries have increased five times as much as in industry overall. And for every job created in technology-intensive manufacturing, 16 additional jobs are created. Today, advanced industries employ and support 40 million workers. These industries elevate an entire nation’s standard of living and generate the high-tech exports that drive a nation’s ability to compete globally.
High-tech manufacturing fuels innovation. Twenty-first century manufacturing competitiveness has brought the digital and physical worlds into full convergence and today advanced hardware meshes seamlessly with advanced software, sensors, big data, and analytics. The result? Not only smarter products and processes, but also more closely connected customers, suppliers, and manufacturers. In the United States, advanced industries employ 80 percent of the engineers, generate about 85 percent of new patents, perform 90 percent of private-sector R&D, and account for 60 percent of all exports.
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