The United States has the assets needed for success in manufacturing—from world-class universities and national laboratories to leading firms and entrepreneurs. Still, the success of the manufacturing sector depends on often-elusive ingredients: long-term thinking and coordination. To ensure that American scientific discoveries and engineering inventions result in the creation of new economic opportunity, it is essential to convene the country’s diverse stakeholders in manufacturing to generate and share coordinated input on America’s manufacturing research and development (R&D) priorities.

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MForesight: Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight empowered America to think long-term on matters of technology and industry. We were an independent, nonprofit, expert-driven organization focused on the future of technology, policy, and the workforce. We supported policymakers, business leaders, and researchers with rapid response reports and crucial intelligence on manufacturing trends and opportunities. Our focus included:

Research and Development Priorities:

We identified platform technologies, essential R&D areas, tools to enable manufacturing readiness, and opportunities for solutions-oriented public-private partnerships.

Implementation Challenges:

We found replicable, affordable, and scalable technology solutions for small and medium manufacturers, as well as best practices for technology adoption and workforce development.

Technology Policy Issues:

We analyzed technology policy issues and educated policymakers on steps needed to strengthen U.S. competitiveness.


MForesight enabled the U.S. manufacturing community with a framework to provide coordinated input on R&D and manufacturing related opportunities. The framework was built on four phases of engagement with public and private stakeholders — discover, prioritize, develop, and disseminate.

People gathered around a table in a room

Discover MForesight convened key thinkers from business, government, and academia to probe the future and identify emerging technology opportunities and challenges facing industry. We organized high-level conferences, roadmapping exercises, interview projects, and online collaborations, leveraging extensive connections to researchers and practitioners.

Prioritize MForesight evaluated and selected emerging technologies with unique promise for improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and for providing significant return on further investment. Selected topics are designated as MForesight Gamechangers.

Develop MForesight developed actionable recommendations to accelerate technology innovation and adoption by identifying and convening experts from industry, academia, and government. MForesight reports capture the collective wisdom of the manufacturing community, clarifying the work necessary to move nascent technologies to the mass market.

Disseminate MForesight reports aim to provide public and private stakeholders with foresight to drive effective R&D investment, technology implementation, and policy solutions. We drew on diverse channels—briefings, blogs, web tools, conferences, trade events, and others—to engage the community with clear and concise content.

View more information on MForesight’s framework here.

A group of individuals seated at a table in a room, appearing to be in a meeting or conference setting


Our objective was to provide long-term ideas and analyses to America’s diverse manufacturing community.

  • Government Agencies: We helped policymakers make sense of questions about the future of technology and manufacturing, providing custom-tailored research products that crystallize expert consensus and explain manufacturers’ needs.

  • Researchers: We provided deep dive studies on technology and R&D topics to inform research and funding priorities, and to connect researchers across disciplines with industry and federal partners.

  • Small and Medium Manufacturers: We identified and shared leading-edge ideas on technology trends and implementation, as well as workforce development, while providing SMMs with a platform for sharing their needs and perspectives.

  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs): We informed federal R&D programs about emerging technologies and challenges that matter to manufacturers, promoted investment and policy actions needed, and supported opportunities for public-private partnerships.

U.S. Representative Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District)

U.S. Representative Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District)

Christie Wong Barrett, CEO of Mac Arthur Corp.

Christie Wong Barrett, CEO of Mac Arthur Corp.

Jim Davis, Vice Provost for Information Technology & Chief Academic Technology Officer, UCLA

Jim Davis, Vice Provost for Information Technology & Chief Academic Technology Officer, UCLA


Upon recommendation by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“Report to the President: Accelerating U.S. Advanced Manufacturing”) the National Science Foundation and National Institute for Standards and Technology issued an open solicitation in May 2015 to establish a national consortium to provide coordinated private‐sector input on national advanced manufacturing technology research and development priorities.

MForesight was established in October 2015 as the result of that solicitation.

Through 2020, MForesight was an independent entity, part of the rich network of manufacturing programs inside and outside government. MForesight’s analysis of emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities augmented the work of not only university programs and industry associations but also federal initiatives like Manufacturing USA and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.


MForesight’s work was supported by the National Science Foundation from 2015 to 2020 under Grant No. 1552534 to the University of Michigan (Dr. Sridhar Kota).

Please note that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the University of Michigan.

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