Georgia Tech’s Manufacturing Chief Participates in White House Roundtable

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Ben Wang, Georgia Tech’s manufacturing chief and executive director of the Manufacturing Research Center (MaRC), recently presented some of his ideas and viewpoints at the U.S. Department of Energy’s roundtable on "Strengthening Advanced U.S. Manufacturing in Clean Energy."

The roundtable discussions, held Aug. 9 at the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., brought together more than 35 representatives from some of the country's most promising companies that are utilizing and developing advanced technologies for clean energy manufacturing. Representatives from key research centers, public policy experts and other stakeholders also joined the discussion.

Participants discussed opportunities and challenges to continue improving U.S. competitiveness in advanced clean energy manufacturing in a wide array of topics – ranging from solar and wind to energy storage, vehicles, lighting, smart grid, fuel cells and more – through public-private partnerships in R&D, industry cluster development and technology commercialization activities.

“The roundtable discussions were critical in understanding the capabilities, ideas, and expectations that these top experts in the field of clean energy have and hold; and how we in MaRC can strategically position ourselves to collaborate with them and lead the effort in advanced clean energy manufacturing,” Wang said.

Subjects discussed and debated at the roundtable will inform the U.S. Administration’s evolving manufacturing strategy, at the energy department's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, where David Danielson, roundtable host and assistant director for energy efficiency and renewable energy, is leading an effort to identify areas of competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers in global clean energy.

The roundtable builds upon the recent report released in July 2012 by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee of the President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, “Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing.”

The report offered a set of 16 recommendations around three pillars, including enabling innovation, securing the talent pipeline, and improving the business climate.  The Aug. 9 roundtable focused on the first pillar, enabling innovation, as it relates to advanced clean energy manufacturing.



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