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4/9/2010
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White House Launches Crowdsourcing Site For Manufacturing

Ideas will be collected about policy decisions for the manufacturing industry, including suggestions for using technology to advance the sector.

As part of a government-wide effort to bolster innovation across various business sectors, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has launched a new crowdsourcing site aimed at collecting policy opinions on the manufacturing industry, including how technology should be used to advance the sector.

The site allows people to share ideas about how to bolster the manufacturing industry in the United States, as well as discuss and vote on other ideas already suggested.

The site provides a variety of questions on which it is hoping people will provide input. Along the lines of technology, one question asks people which technology platforms are most important for the sector to have, while another ponders whether National Labs should increase its involvement in developing technologies for the manufacturing sector.

Generating manufactured goods represents 69% of U.S. exports, according to the site, and the manufacturing sector provides a range of benefits to American citizens.

For instance, it provides jobs that have higher pay and benefits comparable to similar jobs in other sectors, and also provides a career path for people for whom a four-year college degree is not a feasible option, according to the site.

Manufacturing also supports 70% of all research and development spending performed by industry in the U.S.

People have until Tuesday, April 20, to submit ideas, vote, or post comments on the site.

Crowdsourcing is increasingly becoming a way for both federal and state governments to foster idea generation among constituents and employees. Recently, the state of California launched a site asking people to submit their ideas for how the state can use IT to improve how it serves its residents.

The State Department also has a crowdsourcing site called the Secretary's Sounding Board that allows diplomatic employees to share ideas for improving the department.

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