The world is changing how it gets its energy—and it needs to re-think innovation. No longer is it possible or acceptable for Americans to “invent here, manufacture overseas”—rather, companies are understanding the critical link between innovation and manufacturing. That’s why President Obama has proclaimed October 7 as National Manufacturing Day, to celebrate the strength of American manufacturing and to motivate the next generation of manufacturers.
In order to create and sustain U.S. leadership in the transformation to a global clean energy economy, America will need a robust and efficient manufacturing sector. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) was established in 2013 to apply the Energy Department’s resources and capabilities to increase U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy technologies and increase U.S. manufacturing energy productivity across the board. CEMI helped achieve those goals and then some, as demonstrated in the recently published CEMI Accomplishments report.
In launching CEMI, Energy Department staff set out to provide a foundation for strengthening manufacturing competitiveness and productivity. Over the past 3 years, we have made enormous strides in building our domestic capacity in cutting-edge, proprietary technologies that cannot be easily replicated by our competitors around the world. Additionally, we have continued to invest in energy productivity resources for manufacturers, including through technical assistance and market leadership programs.
In addition to supporting manufacturing productivity and advanced manufacturing research and development projects, by the end of the Obama Administration, EERE will have invested more than $1 billion in rebuilding our nation’s innovation eco-structure for manufacturing clean energy technologies. Along with some of the significant clean energy manufacturing advancements—including advances in 3D printing and supercomputing—successes noted in the report include the following:
- We played a key role in President Obama’s Manufacturing USA initiative, launching three new DOE Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, with two more on the way.
- We established new opportunities for businesses large and small to get involved with clean energy manufacturing, from the Technologist in Residence program, to the Small Business Vouchers program, to the manufacturing demonstration facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to the high-performance computing for manufacturing program led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- We launched the national laboratory-led Energy Materials Network research initiative.
In collaboration with the private sector, CEMI has helped draw attention to DOE’s work with facilities, programs, and research projects. We are so proud of the work we’ve completed thus far, and we look forward to continued progress in the future.