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America Makes partnership and ASMC execution process.
The goal of America Makes – the flagship Manu-facturing USA Institute – is to continue the successful collaborative model developed in 2012 and to make continuous improvements to Institute core functions and strengthen mission effectiveness. Evolved requirements from the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem and stakeholders necessitated a structured effort to improve the effectiveness of the Partnership and Education & Workforce Development (EWD) functions.
The goal of the first project, “America Makes Partnerships,” was to strengthen partnerships across the U.S. while aggressively feeding a pipeline of engaged supporters that lead to increased advocacy and advancement of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing innovation ecosystem for U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. The goal of the second project, “America Makes EWD Implementation,” was to expand stakeholder engagement by reworking and establishing a more active EWD Advisory group.
The “Partnerships” project focused on the following topics. “Immersion, Data, Research, and Inventory” was used to immerse America Makes into the community and nationally, obtain data and research on the current state of the ecosystems, and increase AM understanding and outreach. America Makes also utilized a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) assessment to obtain stakeholder feedback to create a current baseline of the Institute and drive future strategy. “Site Selection, Brand Analysis, and External Perceptions” led to America Makes leveraging the assistance from members and government partners to introduce the AM community’s development. A strategic engagement plan was developed and led to a partnership roadmap. Finally, the America Makes Youngstown, OH, facility was renovated into an interactive, highly technical, and adaptive space for the AM community.
Through the efforts of the “EWD Implementation” project, The America Makes team and key stakeholders from the advisory group updated the EWD Roadmap to its latest version. The EWD team assessed early on that the previous EWD Roadmapping activities was incomplete and required update and maintenance. The first task to update the roadmap was to create standard definitions and examples for each of the 25 critical talent elements (CTEs) within the five swimlanes and validate them with industry experts. In addition to developing standards for CTEs, America Makes collected data from internal EWD activities embedded within technology projects from Institute inception (2012 to 2020). This included detailed research located in the Digital Storefront, historical archived files and reports, and interviews with stakeholders.
America Makes made significant steps in evolving its Innovation Factory and physical footprint for the next phase of its needs. Since its completion, America Makes has utilized the evolved space on several occasions. The redesigned facility now supports America Makes in executing its third cooperative agreement, featuring significant requirements around thought leadership, human capital development and ecosystem growth. Addressing these requirements required innovation and collaboration. Roadmapping is best done in workshops, and America Makes now has a state-of-the-art space to convene the ecosystem and advance the mission. Catalyzed by this project, America Makes reignited a focus and vision for the EWD of additive manufacturing by bringing all three core pillars (EWD, Technology, and Ecosystem) together. This has led to further advancements in AM technology, education and development of human capital, deployable educational and technology best practices that are shared with the Institute’s ecosystem. By building a rich library of past EWD successes and current efforts, America Makes has ensured a strong and sustainable future. To maintain the strategic vision of the EWD roadmap, America Makes constantly monitors the prioritization and assessment of opportunities that require engagement and action. The Institute created a process for engagement across the varied stakeholder groups, aligned to the EWD mission and roadmap activities.