MForesight is convening national thought leaders, through a series of regional roundtables, to conduct a major study on the future of U.S. innovation and manufacturing. This project will seek to address “grand challenges” for our manufacturing sector—the degradation of the Industrial Commons, the offshoring of research and development (R&D), and the dearth of financing for “hardware” start-ups and scale-ups. The goal is to identify new actionable recommendations for public and private decision makers to maintain or restore domestic manufacturing capabilities and capture the full value from U.S. R&D investments.

We are convening a series of roundtable discussion with regional thoughts leaders in Austin, Boston, DC, Detroit, Indianapolis, Raleigh, and San Jose during January-March 2018. Finally, the MForesight National Summit, to be held in May, will discuss the ideas generated at the roundtables and determine actions needed to focus attention on this critical national challenge. We believe that the results will not only foster a needed national debate but, ultimately, prompt the public and private actions to reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing.

The goal is to identify actionable solutions to four overarching, interconnected issues for domestic innovation and manufacturing:

  1. Maintaining America’s industrial commons: What manufacturing sectors are absolutely essential for the U.S. to maintain (or regain) a global leadership position? How can the U.S. maintain its ecosystem of skilled trades, engineering expertise, and production capacity in these sectors?
  2. Keeping R&D onshore: With strong linkages between R&D and production, combined with growing capacity and funding for R&D in foreign countries, how can the U.S. ensure that private R&D remains here?
  3. Ensuring financing for “hardware” start-ups: How can America increase opportunities for manufacturing start-ups to scale-up operations and root production at home?
  4. Capitalizing on national R&D investments: Through start-ups and effective technology transfer to established manufacturers, what steps are needed to ensure that America captures the wealth generated from new products and processes emerging from large national R&D spending?

Stay tuned for additional information coming soon.