Maker to Manufacturer Initiative

As part of the National Week of Making, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has invited OSML to attend the Maker-to-Manufacturer Stakeholder Event on Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington, DC.

In recent years, individuals and small teams have been able to gain access to hardware and software tools for designing and prototyping that were previously only available to large manufacturers.  We expect this trend to continue, given the investments that are making these tools less expensive, easier to use, and more powerful. Despite these technical advances, there are still barriers that limit the progress from maker to manufacturer.

OSTP is interested in exploring the steps that will help allow hobbyists and startups go from Maker to Manufacturer, which could fuel innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing and hardware in the same way that cloud computing has lowered the cost associated with launching an Internet startup. The group is hosting this stakeholder event to hear individual views from attendees on the following topics:

  • What technologies will support low-volume manufacturing, which is critical for entrepreneurs in the initial stages of validating “product-market fit”?

  • What innovations in hardware and software will increase the variety and value of what an entrepreneur can design, prototype, and manufacture?

  • How can the United States strengthen the manufacturing know-how of its workers, given that this tacit knowledge is hard to capture and is not always included in formal university coursework in engineering programs?

  • What public and private actions by governments, regions, firms, and research universities can maximize the economic and societal impact of the democratization of manufacturing?

To prepare for this event, OSML has been gathering inputs from our local maker community and from industry partners in the region to take back as inputs to this national initiative. We hope to provide the representatives of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with the opinions and experiences of our local community. If you have specific suggestions, please send them to us at

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