- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2016

President Obama will announce Monday that a Los Angeles-based team was selected to lead a new “smart manufacturing” hub bankrolled with $140 million in public-private funds, the White House said.

The announcement will be made in a speech by the president at a government-sponsored business summit in Washington, as Mr. Obama begins a weeklong effort to highlight American’s innovative progress during his presidency.

A fact sheet distributed by the White House boasted that after a decade of decline from 2000 to 2010, the U.S. manufacturing sector has added over 800,000 jobs since February 2010 and “remains more competitive for jobs and investment today compared to recent decades.”

For the new hub, Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition in Los Angeles received $70 million from the U.S. government to develop smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing, said the White House.

Matching funds of $70 million will be provided by the Los Angels-based team that brings together nearly 200 partners from across academia, industry and nonprofits from more than 30 states.

It is the ninth manufacturing hub awarded in Mr. Obama’s effort to create a national network of 15 manufacturing innovation institutes before leaving office next year.

The president also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and private resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies from robotics to biofabrication, which are “revolutionizing the ways materials can be reused and recycled,” the White House said.

In his speech at the SelectUSA Summit, Mr. Obama also is expected to highlight what the administration calls “smart trade policies,” including the Trans-Pacific Partnership that has become an issue in the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Obama will cap the week with a panel discussion with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a global entrepreneurship summit at Stanford University.

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