Pittsburgh, PA – The Obama administration announced a $26 million multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to foster innovation-fueled job creation through public-private partnerships, the Small Business Administration reported.
The SBA said the coordinated investments will help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and promote cluster-based development in regions across the United States. This is the third round of the Jobs Accelerator competition, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology; the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the Small Business Administration; and the National Science Foundation.
“This $26 million Accelerator Challenge is yet another example of the Obama administration’s commitment to supporting American manufacturers in building things here and selling them everywhere,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “We are so pleased to join with our federal agency partners to further strengthen the American manufacturing sector, which creates high-quality, good-paying jobs. Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has a strong record of investing in regional innovation clusters that foster the job creation and business development crucial to an economy that is built to last. This challenge further bolsters our efforts and builds on the momentum we have seen in the manufacturing sector in recent months, including the 489,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs that have been added since January 2010.”
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis agreed noting, “The Accelerator Challenge is one way the federal government is helping to support the manufacturing industry, a vital source of middle-class jobs. The innovative products developed as a result of this federal grant program will help our economy maintain its global competitive advantage, while also creating jobs at home.”
Manufacturing accounts for 70 percent of private-sector R&D and 60 percent of U.S. exports — including a record $1.2 trillion in goods exported in 2011. During the past 25 months, manufacturers have created nearly half a million jobs — the best streak since 1995. The Jobs Accelerator Challenge is designed to assist the development and implementation of regionally-driven economic development strategies that will support advanced manufacturing and cluster development.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills urged, “’Made in America’ is making a comeback and the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs Accelerator is an opportunity to build on the momentum we’re seeing in U.S. manufacturing and to support small businesses and local economies through regional innovation clusters. By working with other federal agencies, we can link, leverage and align our resources to give small businesses the tools they need to work together, grow and create jobs in the manufacturing sector.”
The deadline for applications is July 9 and is found at www.manufacturing.gov.
Seegrid strongly supports the Innovation Accelerator Challenge. As a robotic industrial truck manufacturer, and former small business, we understand the importance of advanced manufacturing initiatives that drive the growth of manufacturing jobs and products in the U.S. The $26 million in funding will allow manufacturing companies to innovate—keeping America at the forefront of innovation and technology.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Seegrid Corp. (www.seegrid.com) brings robotic vision-guided technology to the material handling industry. Seegrid offers solutions that optimize workflow processes by increasing productivity and reducing costs, creating economic and operational advantages.
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