Does U.S. Manufacturing "Step Up" Innovation?

Christina Lewellen
September 24, 2013
THE TALK...

Some pretty smart folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have issued a report basically summarizing what we in the window and door industry take as gospel: R&D and manufacturing are closely tied. Wherever the manufacturing happens, research and development is likely nearby.

The MIT study warns that if U.S. companies continue to outsource production, we might increasingly see those same companies relocate their R&D functions overseas as well. A recent article on BostonHerald.com notes, "Many industries require tight integration between manufacturing and research and development. ... If manufacturing does not increase in the U.S., companies could relocate to be close to their manufacturing facilities, significantly affecting the future of innovation in the country."

Now for a vast majority of companies in our industry, R&D and manufacturing happen in the same building so there's not much cause for concern. But considering U.S. manufacturing on the whole, do you think that outsourcing production--separating it from R&D--could have a lasting impact on innovation in this country? Will R&D follow manufacturing to countries with lower costs? Post a comment below, and take a moment to weigh in on our opinion poll.

Survey results as of Oct. 1. 

 

Will continued outsourcing have a lasting detrimental impact on innovation in the U.S.?

Yes, it's likely.

  

 

82.67%

 

No, I don't think so.

  

 

13.33%

 

I'm not sure yet.

  

 

4.00%

 

 

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.

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