Makers and Manufacturers Unite at The White House

Greentown Labs and MassMEP Co-present on Manufacturing Innovation 

As part of the National Week of Making, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted a Maker-to-Manufacturer Stakeholder Event on Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. Greentown Labs and MassMEP were invited to attend and present information about their first-of-its-kind Manufacturing Initiative Program. Micaelah Morrill, Director of Greentown Labs’ Manufacturing Initiative and Peter Russo, Program Manager of Growth and Innovation at MassMEP, shared the Initiative’s framework, findings and vision for manufacturing innovation in Massachusetts.

Group Photo

The event facilitated discussion around next steps to help hobbyists and startups go from Maker to Manufacturer, which could ultimately fuel innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing and hardware. Key discussion points included:

  • What technologies will support low-volume manufacturing, which is critical for entrepreneurs in the initial stages of validating “product-market fit”?
  • What innovations in hardware and software will increase the variety and value of what an entrepreneur can design, prototype, and manufacture?
  • How can the United States strengthen the manufacturing know-how of its workers, given that this tacit knowledge is hard to capture and is not always included in formal university coursework in engineering programs?
  • What public and private actions by governments, regions, firms, and research universities can maximize the economic and societal impact of the democratization of manufacturing?

The Greentown Labs Manufacturing Initiative aims to address each of the bullets above through various activities including surveys that gauge startups and manufacturers interest in engaging; opportunities for connections among startups and manufacturers; office hours and events for startups to learn from industry experts; and partnerships with state agencies to support the continued growth of the manufacturing sector throughout Massachusetts.

Whether at prototype stage, first run or production, the Greentown Labs Manufacturing Initiative works to connect startups with local manufacturers that are interested in working with hardware startups. Additionally, startups gain access to information and educational tools needed to find the right processes for their product along with industry best practices, personalized to their company and product.

Greentown Labs is proud to support and foster manufacturing innovation throughout the state of Massachusetts, not only to help startups grow, but to continue the state’s long and rich history in the manufacturing space. With more than 7,000 manufacturers across the Commonwealth there is little reason for startups or anyone else to think they need to go overseas to build their product. Because at Greentown Labs we believe if you have a good idea in Massachusetts, you should be able to make it in Massachusetts.

Keep up with the maker and manufacturer conversation this week by following #NationOfMakers and #WeekOfMaking on Twitter! And if you’re a startup or manufacturer interested in learning more about the Greentown Labs Manufacturing Initiative, please drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.