GAITHERSBURG, MD-Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Patrick Gallagher announced establishment of a national program office for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). AMP is an effort initiated by the White House that brings together industry, academia and the federal government to drive investments in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness.

Department of Commerce (DOC) Secretary John Bryson said during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 15 that DOC would be establishing an office to coordinate and implement the new AMP effort.

“NIST is pleased to house the advanced manufacturing partnership national program office,” said Gallagher. “We have a long history of supporting manufacturing and working across industry, academic and government lines to bring diverse interests to the table in support of the American economy.”

The office will be led by Mike Molnar, currently the chief manufacturing officer at NIST. Molnar, formerly an executive with Cummins Inc., recently joined NIST after a 25-year career in advanced manufacturing. His experience includes metrology, manufacturing systems, quality, technology development, sustainability and industrial energy efficiency. His credentials include service as a federal fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and election as a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

President Obama launched AMP in June 2011 on the recommendation of the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in a report issued that same month. The partnership is led by Dow Chemical Company President, Chairman, and CEO Andrew Liveris, and MIT President Susan Hockfield. AMP was charged with identifying collaborative opportunities between industry, academia and government that will catalyze development and investment in emerging technologies, policies and partnerships with the potential to transform and reinvigorate advanced manufacturing in the United States.

Since its establishment, AMP has held four regional outreach meetings to gather public insights and suggestions, and has chartered four work groups to detail priorities and action plans.

The groups are composed of and co-led by senior leaders from industry and academia, and plan to present final reports in the spring on their recommendations for technology development, manufacturing policy, education and workforce development, and shared facilities and infrastructure.

The AMP national program office will include participation from all federal agencies involved in U.S. manufacturing to support interagency coordination of advanced manufacturing programs and to provide a link to the growing number of private-sector partnerships between manufacturers, universities, state and local governments and other manufacturing-related organizations.

The NPO mandate is to satisfy the dual need described in the PCAST report: to convene and enable a significant number of AMP Private-Public Partnerships and to create an integrated “whole of government” advanced manufacturing initiative to facilitate ongoing collaboration and information sharing across federal agencies.

“The energy, creative ideas and passion demonstrated at the AMP public meetings underscored the tremendous opportunities in advanced manufacturing collaborative partnerships,” says Molnar. “By moving ahead today with formation of the National Program Office, we will be ready to act on the upcoming AMP recommendations and vision for a new era of technology partnerships.”

For more on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, .