North American Symposium - Preparing for the Full-Scale IMS Program

Dallas, TX, June 24, 1994

Keynote Address

Mary Lowe Good

Under Secretary for Technology

U.S. Department of Commerce


Mr. Sayer, Mr. Hyduk, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure for me to be with you this morning.

As a former member of industry, I remember when the IMS initiative was proposed. I also know of all the work that has brought us to where we are today -- at the beginning of an international technology program that I truly believe can benefit all of those involved in the world of manufacturing.

I believe the fact that this outstanding conference is itself an international collaboration by the Commerce Department, CIMS, and Industry Canada and the Canadian Manufacturers' Association exemplifies the IMS ideal.

Thanks to the IMS Committee Members and CIMS

I would like first of all to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the U.S. delegations to the International IMS Committees for their service to their country and, especially, to the Chairman of the International Steering Committee, Bob Cattoi.

Bob provided leadership worthy of an international statesman for the United States during the feasibility study negotiations, and he was instrumental in steering the sixth meeting of the International Steering Committee to a successful conclusion in Hawaii.

Bob. Would you stand up and be recognized? Thank you for a job well done.

I also want to express my appreciation to the members of the U.S. delegations to the International Technical Committee and the International Intellectual Property Rights Committee, and especially to their chairmen, Roger Nagel and Robert Falstad.

Gentlemen, would you also please stand up and be recognized?

Thank you all for a job well done.

I also want to thank CIMS in particular for the assistance and hard work their members provided the U.S. IMS delegations during the Feasibility Study.

Finally, I must thank those members of my own staff -- the government half of our government-industry partnership -- who also put in long hours to make IMS a reality. Those of you who have worked on the IMS Feasibility Study from its earliest days know Phyllis Genther Yoshida and the commitment demonstrated by her staff.

Why IMS?

I would like to briefly discuss the U.S. government role in IMS -- what we are thinking, what we are doing, where we want to go, and how we plan to get there.

We are interested in IMS because of its potential to enhance U.S. manufacturing. It represents a "real" model of international industry-government-academic partnering in an industry-led effort.

IMS can encourage North American companies, universities, and national laboratories to work with their counterparts in other industrialized regions to tackle common problems. It can expose our companies -- large and small -- to world class technological and organizational practices. And it can raise worldwide manufacturing professionalism to a higher level.

By building upon the foundation laid in the feasibility study, we hope to work with other governments, our companies, and our academic community to benefit from the global dimensions of manufacturing in the 21st century.

How might IMS fit into the Clinton Administration's technology strategy and, more specifically, our vision for manufacturing? Let me begin by briefly outlining the President's Technology Strategy.

Clinton Technology Strategy

Yesterday, David Barram gave you a brief synopsis of the evolution of U.S. technology strategy. The upshot is that we must have a different strategy for the new economic era.

The Cold War is over. U.S. companies do not dominate world markets. And, as do all countries, we face increasing foreign competition. At the same time, the increasing complexity and uncertainty of technological innovation has engendered costs and risks that may be too great for even large firms to undertake on their own.

President Clinton's technology strategy is designed to answer these challenges. We are committed to new policies and programs aimed directly at helping industry develop and profit from innovations.

To help guide these new efforts, the Clinton Administration has set forth some basic management principles for the expanding Federal role in civilian technology development:

IMS has followed these basic management principles: To execute these policies, the Commerce Department has been asked to assume a new mission -to interact with industry and provide leadership for the new civilian technology mission. Our role is described in the Department's Advanced Civilian Technology Strategy or Commerce ACTS. This strategy consists of four components, arrayed across the Department's bureaus and agencies: IMS is clearly part of that role:

How Do Manufacturing and IMS Fit In?

The prominence of manufacturing is signified by the President's reaffirmation (and I quote): "Manufacturing remains the foundation of the American economy."

We know that the economic benefits of innovation flow most directly to nations with strong manufacturing capabilities. And, this sector is in the midst of a revolution--a change as profound and dynamic as the shift from craft-based production to mass manufacturing.

The age of mass production is rapidly giving way to flexible manufacturing, just-in-time, total quality, and team-based organizations. This new manufacturing paradigm is delivering dramatic improvements in product quality, cost, and time-to-market.

Some U.S. companies are on the leading edge of this revolution, literally reinventing themselves and, in the process, becoming more competitive and strengthening their bottom lines.

However, many firms still lag and remain wedded to old technologies, work processes, and management approaches--particularly among our 360,000 small and medium-sized firms that create many of our new jobs.

While the private sector must lead this second industrial revolution, the economic stakes are high for government. That is why the President's technology strategy includes strong support for modernizing American manufacturing.

To provide government structure to support this initiative, President Clinton established the cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council. One of the Council's nine committees is the Committee on Civilian Industrial Technology, which I chair, and which oversees policies and sets priorities for Federal investments in civilian industrial technology. This is the first time the U.S. government has acknowledged that civilian technologies comprise a mission. The Department of Commerce is the focal point for this mission, and the active agency is the Civilian Industrial Technologies committee of the NSTC.

Because the private sector is the principal customer for civilian industrial technology, the work of the Committee must reflect strong industry involvement. It is critical that we link Federal research efforts with those being undertaken by industry. And, we are establishing formal and informal relations with industry groups to solicit advice and participation.

Manufacturing cuts across much of the Committee's work. We are carrying-out an initiative in advanced manufacturing infrastructure R&D that covers areas such as: manufacturing systems integration, agile manufacturing, environmentally conscious manufacturing, and technology deployment.

We also stress manufacturing as part of our work in several other areas of industrial technology. For example, competitive manufacture of products increasingly requires materials and processing techniques that have been optimized for particular industrial applications. Therefore, we are focusing on cost-efficient materials processing for specific industrial needs--in aeronautics, automotive manufacturing, construction and electronics.

This is a new approach for materials. We have had an avalanche of new materials but their integration into products has been slow. Thus we will focus on materials applications and processing for specific end performance: low cost light weight materials for automotive applications, building materials, etc.

We are laying the ground-work for an Electronics Manufacturing Initiative in 1996. Of course, electronics technologies are in the first rank of enabling technologies with applications across the industrial spectrum. We are exploring, with industry, the cooperative development of manufacturing technologies needed for U.S.-made products for the information highway-personal communication devices, open architecture personal computers, high-definition television, and more. U.S. industry has expressed considerable interest in this potential collaborative effort.

We are also focusing on advanced manufacturing methods that can improve the productivity of the auto industry. We are working in a historic partnership with the Big Three auto makers in areas such as computer-based design and testing, virtual manufacturing, enterprise integration, and rapid prototyping.

Let me stress that these initiatives are interagency efforts with participation from a number of Federal agencies including: the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Energy; NASA; the National Science Foundation; and others.

Within the Commerce Department, we are rapidly expanding the Advanced Technology Program which invests in manufacturing technology. The Clinton Administration announced its intention to scale up ATP from $68 million in FY 1993 to $750 million in FY 1997.

ATP provides grants to private industry that are designed to stimulate research and development in high-risk technologies with significant commercial potential. To date, seventeen percent of ATP awards have gone to manufacturing projects--the second largest category of ATP projects.

We are also expanding our technology deployment efforts because technology has little economic benefit unless it is widely used. For example, the Administration has pledged to establish a network of 100 manufacturing extension centers by 1997--centers that will give businesses access to the technologies, training programs, and other assistance they need to modernize their operations.

We are making progress toward fulfilling that commitment Incorporating lessons drawn from the seven original centers, the Department of Commerce has begun a scale-up that includes linkages with regional, state, and local programs to establish the nationwide Manufacturing Extension Partnership network.

Throughout our technology policy, we are looking for opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries. International cooperative R&D, if properly structured to ensure equitable benefits, is beneficial and sometimes necessary to promote sufficient investment in strategic technologies. It spreads risk, and combines complementary technological strengths in which the gains from cooperation may be particularly large.

Advanced manufacturing is a strategic area. And, the IMS Program is an effort to seize this opportunity.

IMS can be an innovative catalytic agent for global manufacturing cooperation. IMS can be a means to address manufacturing research of importance to all regions of the world, and to develop and promote international manufacturing standards.

IMS can be an agent to effectively involve large and small companies, academia, governments and consortia in international manufacturing cooperation. It also can be a process to bring dissimilar intellectual property rights (IPR) requirements into harmony and to ensure IPR protection for small companies and universities. In this regard I want to stress that the IMS IPR Guidelines represent a ground breaking example of a world-wide agreement on IPR to guide private sector interactions.

We need to continue our industry-government-academic partnership to ensure that IMS does become all of these things.

Now let me turn to the Commerce Department's future role and commitment to the IMS Program.

Commerce Activities to Launch IMS

We are committed to support the IMS infrastructure -- the U.S. Secretariat and the InterRegional Secretariat -- throughout the life of the IMS Program.

With respect to Outreach to the private sector, we want to continue working with CIMS to hold information dissemination and consensus-building events like this. The U.S. IMS Secretariat also will work closely with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership at NIST, with trade associations, and others in disseminating IMS information.

For example, the U.S. IMS Secretariat will work with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to host a series of workshops to identify small and medium sized enterprises that are candidates for IMS participation.

For this purpose, we are dividing these U.S. firms into two groups -- high-tech firms with niche markets and traditional manufacturing firms.

The High-tech firms often know the benefits and risks of international collaboration. The traditional manufacturing firms may not. We will concentrate our efforts in getting the IMS message to the latter. Some of them are suppliers of large companies, and we will contact those large companies to encourage participation. For small and medium-sized firms that express an interest, we will help them form consortia with other companies, universities and national labs in the United States and other regions.

We will continue working with CIMS and others to strengthen consensus throughout the private sector and the government. We will brief members of Congress, the Committee on Industrial Technology, and Federal agencies on the progress thus far, where we are going, and how we hope to get there.

On Ratification of the Terms of Reference, we are working very hard to achieve an interagency consensus. We are very close in coming to closure on the Terms of Reference, and we expect an exchange of letters could soon follow between me and my counterparts.

After ratification of the Terms of Reference, we will solicit Nominations to the two vacancies on the U.S. delegation to the International IMS Steering Committee. The process will consist of open nominations, an interagency review and appointments by the Commerce Department. We also plan to appoint a high level Technology Administration official as the U.S. Government Observer.

We expect start-up of the full-scale IMS Program by early 1995. We hope all five other regions will be ready to begin by that time.

We have received some excellent suggestions with respect to U.S. IMS Governance, and I want you to continue sending them. I can promise you that your suggestions will be carefully considered.

On Funding let me reiterate that we have committed to support of the U.S. IMS Secretariat and the Interregional Secretariat for the life of the program. In addition, we understand that project funding is a concern, particularly for participants from universities and small businesses. We will be working with other Federal agencies to identify sources of project funding and will look into the the possibility of separate project funding for the FY 1996 budget cycle.


In closing, according to ancient sages, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Ladies and gentlemen, you have taken that step. Attaining the lofty goals of IMS won't be easy. The journey will be hard and tedious. But you can be sure that we in government will travel side-by-side with you to reach our common destination.

Thank you.

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