Last updated: August 25. 2013 8:21AM - 283 Views

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to bring back America’s manufacturing sector by keeping it on the innovative edge.

Aiming to build on a pilot program launched in 2012 in Youngstown, Brown said he wants to create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation to help American businesses out-innovate global competitors.

“Our workers are the most productive. Now we need to make them the most innovative. That’s why I’m calling for the creation of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. Every region, every state has a role to play in helping to maintain our innovative edge,” Brown said. “I’ve worked with small business and industry leaders and universities and research institutions on legislation to create the National Network. The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation will establish the U.S. as a leader in a range of next generation technologies and will capitalize on our investment in basic research and create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs that are a part of the country and the whole country needs.”

The proposal is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage investments to bridge the gap between basic research and product development.

“American workers have the drive, the creative thinking and the determination to out-innovate the rest of the world,” Brown said. “We just need to make certain that they have the opportunity to do so.”

Brown said each institute created through the program will serve as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence, providing innovation infrastructure to support regional manufacturing.

“Manufacturing is the key to our economic recovery and to good-paying middle-class jobs. By establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, we can provide small businesses with access to the tools and expertise needed to compete in the global economy,” Brown said. “We’re already seeing the success with Youngstown’s pilot program, and that’s why I’ve been working with small businesses, industry leaders, universities and research institutions on legislation to create a NNMI.”

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