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Youth engage at USA Science & Engineering Festival

AMT tells Congress to shape up  

New Industrial Internet Consortium

Youth engage at USA Science & Engineering Festival

Representatives and volunteer members of ISA and its umbrella organization, The Automation Federation, demonstrated fundamental processes of industrial automation to young people at the third USA Science & Engineering Festival, conducted 25–27 April 2014 in Washington, D.C.

More than 325,000 people—mostly primary and secondary students and their families—attended the event, the U.S.’s only national science festival, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This year’s festival marked the largest event ever in the history of the city’s convention center.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival plays an important role in encouraging young people to pursue learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in expanding awareness about the virtues of STEM-related career fields, including automation. Through their participation and exhibition at the festival and other events like it, ISA and the Automation Federation broaden awareness and understanding of the automation field—a foundational step in cultivating the next generation of automation professionals.

AMT tells Congress to shape up

The board of directors of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) sent a letter to the U.S. congressional leadership requesting action on a bipartisan manufacturing agenda in 2014. The letter urges House and Senate leaders to consider legislation where there is common ground. It points to several initiatives with bipartisan support that would strengthen U.S. manufacturing if enacted into law, including reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, renewal of trade promotion authority, and passage of tax, regulatory and immigration reforms.

The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) recently passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), would establish a national network of regional manufacturing institutes modeled after America Makes, the pilot institute in Youngstown, Ohio that is focused on additive manufacturing (also known as 3-D printing). The Senate RAMI bill includes an amendment requiring the President to submit an updated National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing to Congress every four years.

The administration announced three new institutes earlier this year, including the Digital Manufacturing and Design Institute (DMDI) in Chicago. AMT is a partner in both America Makes and the DMDI.

New Industrial Internet Consortium

AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel have formed the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an open membership group focused on breaking down the barriers of technology silos to support better access to big data with improved integration of the physical and digital worlds. The consortium will enable organizations to more easily connect and optimize assets, operations, and data.

An ecosystem of companies, researchers, and public agencies is emerging to drive adoption of industrial Internet applications, a foundational element for accelerating the Internet of Things. The IIC is a not-for-profit group that will take the lead in establishing interoperability across various industrial environments for a more connected world. Specifically, the IIC’s charter will be to encourage innovation by:

  • Using existing and creating new industry use cases and test beds for real-world applications
  • Delivering best practices, reference architectures, and case studies to ease deployment of connected technologies
  • Influencing the global standards development process for Internet and industrial systems
  • Facilitating open forums to share and exchange ideas, practices, lessons, and insights
  • Building confidence around innovative approaches to security

The IIC is open to any business, organization, or entity with an interest in accelerating the industrial Internet. In addition to gaining an immediate, visible platform for their opinions, consortium members will join in developing critical relationships with leaders in technology, manufacturing, academia, and the government on working committees. The IIC will be managed by Object Management Group, a nonprofit trade association in Boston, Mass. The fee structure and membership application forms are available at


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