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Bring back high-tech manufacturing to US says MIT president

The US is lacking the right investments in research and education-- the government needs to lead.
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Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor on

Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield says that US companies should bring back production of high tech products to the US, as part of a plan to boost innovation and jobs.

Speaking at a recent event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley, she said:

"Don't just create ideas, also make products here," she said. "Buying back technologies that we invented changed our surplus into deficit. We need to have a substantial fraction of technologies that are made in America."

She also warned about automatic spending cuts scheduled by the US government and their dire impact on the US lead in innovation.

"The big question is: Where will our much needed jobs come from?" she asked. "Will we let other nations lead or will we seize the lead?"

Innovation has been responsible for about half of all new jobs in the US over the past 50 years. But that innovation came out of investments in basic research, which is lacking today.

"The entire computer industry came out of basic investments in research," she said. "We have to engage with government leaders and help them understand what we do. There are very intelligent people in Washington, but political forces trump all."

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