I believe strongly that the electronics industry and EMS providers such as Creation Technologies have key roles to play in the ongoing development of technology leadership.
I also believe that as today’s business leaders, we have a responsibility to do what we can to create economic opportunity and growth in our communities.
One way we can foster this growth is through activism in the industry associations that bring together and give a voice to our varied perspectives and expertise. As such, I currently sit on the IPC Board of Directors and serve as Chairman of the IPC Government Relations Steering Committee.
IPC Government Relations Committee & IMPACT 2014
The mandate of the IPC Government Relations program is to support the industry by “promoting policies that foster economic growth, job creation and enhance international competitiveness”, addressing key issues like tax, trade and environmental technology policy.
To that end, on June 10 and 11, I had the pleasure of spending time with 16 other executives from IPC member-companies while participating in IMPACT 2014: IPC on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The purpose of the conference was to share with senior American policymakers our collective perspective on current challenges and opportunities, and IPC was very successful in arranging a series of meetings to discuss specific initiatives that we believe will benefit our customers and strengthen the electronics industry.
These initiatives sparked thought-provoking discussion with all of the U.S. Government leaders with whom we met. It was an added pleasure to have the chance to meet with Members of Congress representing communities in which Creation has business units, specifically Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky, Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, Congressman Tim Walz of Minnesota, and Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois.
Some of the summit’s leading issues were:
• Manufacturing and the economy: Support for domestic innovation and manufacturing through the creation and full funding of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and passage of S. 1468/H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI). The NNMI is a public-private partnership that draws on the resources of the federal government, local governments, universities, research institutes and industry to accelerate R&D of manufacturing technologies with commercial applications. IPC is working with its members and the government to influence the selection of the next round of R&D programs in areas such as flexible hybrid electronics and electronic packaging and reliability.
• Environmental regulation: A bipartisan effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and promote recycling of manufacturing byproducts.
• National Security: A modernized export control regime with clear and appropriate controls on printed boards designed for defense electronics.
You can find more information in a blog post on IPC’s website: Electronics Industry Leaders Meet with U.S. Policy Makers on Capitol Hill
National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
The proposal for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is a compelling one.
Today we’re seeing manufacturing and technology innovation like never before. Entrepreneurship is one of Creation’s Core Values, and so it’s exciting to see our governments invest actively in leadership and development at both federal and local levels.
In Canada, we saw the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) established in 2013 through the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Through short-term financial support to select incubators and accelerators, CAIP aims to “harness innovation” of small- and medium-sized business, providing the venture capital, expertise and infrastructure to fast-track new products and services to market.
In the U.S., the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program has a similar goal, with the proposed legislation aiming to build a nationwide manufacturing innovation network with unparalleled reach and impact. Formation of this network is key in enabling Americans and American companies to excel in the development and commercialization of new technologies. Because Creation is a full-service electronics manufacturer with a specialization in turnkey product design services, this is something especially close to our hearts.
Working Together to Build the Future
At Creation, we see firsthand how electronics and electronics manufacturing continue to play pivotal roles in job creation, economic growth and technological advancement.
It’s heartening to see all stakeholders – from investors to entrepreneurs to business leaders to government to academia – invested in the manufacturing and technology ecosystems, and working together for transformation.
Forums like IPC’s IMPACT are essential to this kind of holistic collaboration, and it’s a privilege for me to take part. This year, as always, I learned a great deal from my fellow committee members and the elected officials with whom we had very good discussion, and I’m appreciative of everyone’s candor and insight. Thank you also to the IPC team for making the conference possible and for bringing government and industry leaders together to create alignment on key issues.
I look forward to IPC’s IMPACT 2015 and the opportunities it will bring to build relationships, awareness, and a bright future for the electronics industry.