On Wednesday, August 23, Axios hosted an Expert Voices roundtable discussion in Atlanta, featuring local leaders and experts in manufacturing, academic and government. Guests discussed the future of manufacturing in America, and how the industry is adapting to growing technological innovation and clean energy initiatives as more jobs return to U.S. shores. Axios reporter Emma Hurt and local Atlanta reporter Thomas Wheatley led the conversation.

On how large manufacturing companies can evolve

Participants discussed how established companies can innovate their systems and processes to stay competitive with modern innovation and net zero initiatives.

Benoit Montreuil | Chair Professor and Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology: "…There's a mixture of things, but it's all related to developing the…ecosystems that will support this innovation…So as a state, for example, here we want to be in clean tech. We have to take the whole ecosystem that's going to get there in automotive, if we really want to be a player in electric and autonomous cars, etc., we have to look at the whole ecosystem to get there. And that ecosystem includes all the talent we need, the talent supply chain, essentially."

Tim Lieuwen, Executive Director, Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology: "From a policy point of view, what we've learned is that investing in high technology is not enough for creation of jobs…I think just the realization that the problem that the technologists have to not only be thinking about really the cool tech, but just the innovations around the manufacturing itself…We really have to be also innovating on driving down manufacturing costs, which in itself is really an innovation challenge."

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Benoit Montreuil speaking to the Axios roundtable group. Credit: Shay Richards for Axios
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