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Past Event

Why—and Which—Manufacturing Matters: Innovation and Production in the United States

Despite massive job losses in the last decade, U.S. manufacturing remains critical to the nation’s economic future and requires a new era of policy attention. Thus, it is essential that the U.S. reach consensus on the importance of manufacturing and then move aggressively to maintain the nation’s facility for novel product innovation while upgrading the capacity for continuous incremental and process improvements.

On February 22, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum exploring the type of manufacturing the nation is most likely to retain and build, as well as a policy framework for strengthening high-wage, export-intensive production in America. Brookings and CONNECT Innovation Institute scholars will present new arguments from complementary research studies assessing production activities and innovation. A panel of CONNECT researchers—including experts from the private sector and academia—presented their policy recommendations, focusing on the experiences of specific industries for supporting both radical and incremental innovation in U.S. manufacturing. Following the panel, Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm, Inc. and a member of CONNECT Innovation Institute, offered a keynote address.

After each panel, speakers took audience questions. Participants joined the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #usmfg.




Peter Cowhey

Dean, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego


Susan Helper

Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management - Case Western Reserve University

Panel Discussion


Dan Breznitz

Associate Professor, The College of Management and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Erica R.H. Fuchs

Professor, Engineering and Public Policy - Carnegie Mellon University

Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Executive Director, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keynote Speaker

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