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January is traditionally a time to reflect on how to build on the successes of the past year, with the added excitement of looking ahead to setting priorities and goals for the new year.
As an advocate for the electronics manufacturing industry, my job is to educate and encourage policymakers to create a favorable legislative and regulatory environment for advanced manufacturing to grow and succeed. From that perspective, I think we should be proud of the significant progress we made in several areas in 2015.
For example, in the United States, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) launched several new institutes aimed at accelerating innovation in advanced manufacturing. Most recently, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced $75 million in federal funding to establish NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, in San Jose, California. More than 160 companies, associations, universities and other organizations, including IPC, are backing the new institute, which will focus on catalyzing the flexible electronics ecosystem through investments in new materials, thinned-device processing, device/sensor integrated printing and packaging, system design tools, and reliability testing and modeling. IPC played a leading role in the industry coalition that secured congressional authorization for these institutes, and we will continue to advocate for full funding and aggressive implementation in 2016 and beyond.
Also, IPC hosted IMPACT, its annual Washington, D.C. “fly-in,” where industry executives met with federal policymakers and advocated for public policy priorities that affect our industry. IPC also organized more than a dozen events across the country, in which member companies welcomed their elected representatives for policy discussions and tours of their facilities.