Press Release

U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing launches in Michigan through Automation Alley partnership with World Economic Forum

Media Contact: Nicole Kampe, Digital Editor, Automation Alley,

Troy, Mich., June 1, 2022 – Automation Alley, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, today launched the U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing with an announcement at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Created with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Oakland County – the U.S. Centre will engage the national manufacturing ecosystem to accelerate the transition towards advanced manufacturing through a series of local, national, and international projects and activities. It will play an active role in shaping the global agenda on the future of production, while contributing towards strengthening the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the United States.

This is the first such thematic Centre in the world. It will join the World Economic Forum’s global community of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) that help shape new strategies and policies in technology governance and will work closely with the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains that drives the global agenda on the transformation of industrial ecosystems for improved productivity, sustainability, and growth.

“We are thrilled to welcome the United States Centre for Advanced Manufacturing to Michigan, where our century-long auto manufacturing heritage, innovative businesses, and hardworking people continue to shape and drive the future of manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Since I took office, Michigan has added nearly 30,000 manufacturing jobs, many building batteries, electric vehicle, or other advanced sectors and products. These investments have cemented our status as a global epicenter of manufacturing, and with the new Centre, we will build on that leadership, bringing in even more opportunity for workers and bolstering economic opportunity within our state and beyond.”

Francisco Betti, Head of the Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing Value Chains at the World Economic Forum, who joined the announcement roundtable on Mackinac Island in Michigan, underlined the Centre’s role in helping leaders explore and shape the trajectory of industrial transformation in the United States.

“We are delighted to join forces with Automation Alley on this new major effort and to work closely with the manufacturing community in both Michigan and across the U.S. The new Centre will help manufacturing companies – including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – anticipate supply chain disruptions, build resilience, and capitalize on the new opportunities brought by the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Betti said. “Through new collaborative efforts and projects, the Centre will work with leaders from across different sectors to help speed up the transition towards advanced manufacturing and unlock productivity, innovation, and growth, while enabling workforce engagement and sustainability at scale.”  

“The rapid pace of technological change coupled with geopolitical, climate, and supply chain disruptions has created an urgency for manufacturers across the globe to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to remain competitive,” said Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley. “This Centre will ensure all U.S. stakeholders are aligned for shared value creation and to accelerate digital transformation. Manufacturers of all sizes need to pay attention to the rapid pace of technological change to remain competitive and relevant today. Automation Alley is proud to be leading this initiative focused on the most pressing issues around the future of manufacturing operations, workforce development, changing consumer demands, sustainability, standards, regulations and so much more.”

“This partnership will allow Oakland County, the region and the state to be a leading catalyst for transformational developments in advanced manufacturing,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “The U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing will be a good fit for Automation Alley and Oakland County because we put theory into practice with our Project DIAMOnD initiative, which provided $10 million in 3D printers to small manufacturers. We intend to expand on this investment to accelerate the transition toward advanced manufacturing and attract national and international firms to Oakland County.”

Strengthening Collaborations and Innovation to Drive Transformation

Strategic priorities of the Centre will include generating new insights by identifying latest trends to help manufacturers and policymakers in the U.S. respond to industry disruption; building peer communities of varied voices across industries and regions to share experiences, synthesize learnings and help shape collaborative responses to address global challenges; and creating multistakeholder coalitions to accelerate action by unlocking potential through new alliances. Through the U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, businesses will pre-emptively address emerging opportunities in production and increase the pace of responsible industry transformation and unlock new value creation. By connecting globally with other Centres for the 4thIndustrial Revolution and the Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, the Centre will play an active role in shaping the global agenda on the future of production.  

Cynthia Hutchison, Automation Alley’s Vice President, will serve as Head of the U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. She previously served as the liaison to the World Economic Forum by overseeing the Michigan Advanced Manufacturing HUB.

The U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing joins a network of 15 Centres that span four continents and is the first Centre in the world focused on advanced manufacturing.

About Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus. We facilitate public-private partnerships by connecting industry, education and government to fuel Michigan's economy. We help businesses embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to develop a software-first mindset that leverages the intersections of advanced technologies, systems and people to jumpstart or accelerate a digital path to strategic success. Visit

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