Policy ForumTechnology

Advanced Manufacturing Policies and Paradigms for Innovation

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Science  06 Dec 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6163, pp. 1173-1175
DOI: 10.1126/science.1242210

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Manufacturing in the United States is usually not pictured as part of the innovation process. This is a fragmented, disconnected view; innovation demands to be looked at as a system, from early-stage research through production. In contrast, Germany has a culture of engineering and Japan of artisanship and quality that embrace histories of production innovation and manufacturing success. Both nations have higher-wage and higher-cost manufacturing sectors than the United States, yet they have run major trade surpluses in manufactured goods, whereas the United States has run large deficits (1, 2).