Manufacturing Ecosystems

The concept of an innovation ecosystem has long been established in the field.  Last May at the Wilson Center Egils Milbergs, the Executive Director of the Economic Development Commission of Washington State, underlined the importance of creating an all-encompassing ‘innovation ecosystem’ for future economic development.  This idea was echoed again this September when Wilson Center scholar Amy Wilkinson highlighted the importance of Innovation ecosystem and collaboration to create a thriving economic community.

While the idea of building an innovation ecosystem is not new, the idea of a manufacturing ecosystem appears to be gaining traction.  Manufacturing Executive is “committed to connecting, educating, and supporting a global network of executives working within the manufacturing ecosystem to build a stronger, more vibrant manufacturing industry worldwide”.

Throughout the world, ecosystems are being implemented to improve manufacturing efficiency. In Australia, the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem is designed to provide a system in which  industry can consolidate and streamline efforts in education, employment, and related industry growth opportunities.  India, too, recognizes the need for an ecosystem to focus on research and development efforts for mobile handsets. “[This focus] would facilitate innovation, intellectual property rights creation and faster commercialization,” stated a report prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst & Young.

In the United States, the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) and the National Center for Manufacturing  Science are working together to build a National Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem. This initiative is designed to increase the global competitiveness of US manufacturers while making cost and time savings that are equally beneficial to environmental sustainability.

Posted by: Georgina Ellison

Sources:, Market Watch, Smart Process Manufacturing, Thaindia

Photo credit: Paul Kelpe: (Machinery Abstract #2), 1934 courtesy of flickr user americanartmuseum


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