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Council on Competitiveness Report: HPC Transforms Manufacturing

coverToday the Council on Competitiveness published a new report from the National Digital Engineering Manufacturing Consortium (NDEMC). Entitled “Modeling, Simulation and Analysis, and High Performance Computing: Force Multiplier for American Innovation,”  the 88 age report explores how HPC transforms manufacturing.

The NDEMC is an industry-led, public-private supercomputing partnership to support a robust, agile, and globally competitive U.S. supply chain. It was founded in 2011, following discussions with the Obama Administration and the Council’s 2010 Roundtable Summit on HPC and U.S. Manufacturing. The Consortium funded pilot programs that promote adoption and advancement of modeling and simulation (MS&A) and high performance computing (HPC) among small and medium‐sized manufacturers (SMEs) in the United States.

“High performance computing offers an extraordinary opportunity for the United States to design products faster, minimize the time to create and test prototypes, streamline production processes, lower the cost of innovation and develop high-value innovations that would otherwise be impossible,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President & CEO, Council on Competitiveness. “The report demonstrates that HPC can be a game changer for not only large corporations, but the thousands of small and medium size businesses that are the backbone of our economy.”

The NDEMC fostered 20 pilot programs that resulted in 160 new jobs, $20 million in annual sales and the developed of three new products. Other key policy and business practice findings included:

  • Public-private partnerships are an essential model for projects where new infrastructure or “industrial commons” need to be developed to support an entire industry sector.
    Small and medium-sized U.S. enterprises (SMEs) cannot justify and are unwilling to purchase expensive MS&A/HPC tools, but are willing to buy access to MS&A/HPC, consulting, and training on a pay-by-the-use model.
  • Encouraging MS&A/HPC Independent Software Vendors to deploy Software-as-a-Service could drive wider access to MS&A/HPC tools for U.S. SMEs.
  • The opportunity to “reduce time-to-market for products” is a critical factor in SMEs’ decision to participate in NDEMC.
  • Senior management, engineering, and operations personnel need to “buy-in” to projects. Defining clear project goals and expected outcomes, and conveying them from the top down is critical. The time and effort required to engage in an MS&A/HPC project must be transparent, and a strong business case for participating in a project must be developed upfront.
  • SMEs need significant hands-on support and training to realize fully the potential of incorporating MS&A/HPC into their business operations. This includes a trusted third party to help educate them on MS&A/HPC, and to provide ongoing guidance and support to assist them in developing solutions that they can apply in their business.

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