Manufacturing USA Advances In Technology, Still Needs Performance Measurements – MeriTalk

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) encourages the Department of Commerce to develop performance goals with measurable targets for the Manufacturing USA government effort – a joint effort between Commerce, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on a network of 16 advanced manufacturing institutes to promote advanced manufacturing and technologies.

All three agencies have provided $ 1.7 billion for the Manufacturing USA effort – and many of the 16 institutes have reported progress on the goals the programs aim to achieve.

“The US manufacturing institutes have reported making progress toward meeting their technology goals,” GAO wrote in a new report. “The progress of institute projects is often tracked using Technological Readiness Levels (TRLs), a standardized scale for assessing maturity and risk. “

The GAO found that projects went through a range of TRLs, many moving from TRL level 4 to level 6, “taking manufacturing technology from a point where it could be demonstrated in a lab to a point where a prototype system could. be created in a simulated production environment.

All three agencies have implemented previous GAO recommendations on interagency collaboration and the development of sustainability criteria, but Commerce has yet to fully implement two of GAO’s previous recommendations related to performance targets for the company. network wide for the program.

GAO recommends that Commerce develop network-wide performance goals with measurable goals and timelines, and align performance metrics with goals. The Commerce Department partially agreed and worked with the DoD and DOE to develop some measures, but did not fully implement the recommendations.

The GAO still maintains that some of its recommendations require further action.