Addressing challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector

The multifaceted Manufacturing Policy Initiative at the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs studies challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector, assesses public policies that impact the industry, and identifies policy options for enhancing this vital component of the U.S. economy. 

The Initiative serves as a source of objective, state-of-the-art information; offers analysis and recommendations on public policy issues affecting U.S. manufacturing; and is a resource for policy makers, manufacturers, the workforce, and other academics.

O’Neill is currently the #1 ranked public affairs school in the country. The Initiative draws on O’Neill’s expertise in public and environmental policy as well as international trade, entrepreneurship, regulatory analysis and other disciplines, including the expertise of other academic institutions, focusing on these fundamental questions:

  • How does U.S. public policy impact productivity and economic growth?
  • How can the country best prepare a workforce to meet the needs of 21st century manufacturing?
  • How can we most efficiently and effectively identify and resolve disputes in international trade?
  • What is the relationship between national security and manufacturing competitiveness?

Research related to the manufacturing sector

Smart Factories: Issues of Information Governance

The future of manufacturing lies in smart manufacturing—defined as the integration of sensors, controls, and software platforms to optimize performance at the production unit, plant, and supply chain levels. This publication explores the crucial role of information governance (covering artificial intelligence, technical standards, cybersecurity, and digital trade) on smart manufacturing.

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Read the news release

Indiana's strong manufacturing footprint

#1HIGHEST MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT SHARE IN THE NATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics

#2IN THE NATION FOR AUTO GDP

Conexus Indiana

507,000WORKERS EMPLOYED IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR

Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development

25% +MORE THAN ONE QUARTER OF INDIANA’S TOTAL ECONOMIC OUTPUT IS BASED IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR

Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Manufacturing Policy Initiative's goals and inspiration

The Initiative has established a center that serves as a source for objective, state-of-the-art information, analysis and recommendations on public policy issues affecting U.S. manufacturing, and as a resource for policy makers, manufacturers, the workforce, and other academics. Issues related to workforce education, international trade, innovation and advanced manufacturing, national security, tax policy, regulatory reform, job and earnings growth, and the significance of globalization are studied.

The Initiative derives inspiration for its mission from the words of one of America’s founding fathers:

“Not only the wealth, but the independence and security of a country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufactures. Every nation, with a view to those great objects, ought to endeavor to possess within itself all the essentials of national supply. These comprise the means of subsistence, habitation, clothing, and defense.” 

— Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, Report on Manufactures, 1791

Our expertise

At the Manufacturing Policy Initiative, we create collaborative opportunities to advance knowledge, bringing together leading academics and practitioners. Together, we leverage and build upon our expertise in sustainable manufacturing, public policy, and entrepreneurship.  

Research at work

In addition, at the O’Neill School we bring together interdisciplinary research groups to address current issues including chemicals policy, regulatory reform, clean vehicles, and shale gas.

Government leaders have talked about strengthening manufacturing, but there has not been enough careful academic review and analysis to inform this effort.

— John D. Graham, O’Neill Dean