Clinton Global Initiative leads to supply chain pilot project

by MM&D staff

NEW YORK, New York— Former American president Bill Clinton has inspired a collection of businesses and organizations to take steps to improve the US manufacturing supply chain.

Clinton, along with his wife and his daughter, have created the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization that promotes philanthropic causes and projects. One of the projects is Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which is designed to bring together heads of state, business executives, stakeholders, Nobel Prize laureates and NGO leaders with the goal of tackling (and solving) pressing global issues.

One of the recent commitments to come out of CGI activities, the National Supply Chain Network Initiative (NSNI), has been made by semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, the University of Michigan (Battelle), AutoHarvest Foundation (a Michigan-based organization created by those in the automotive industry for the purpose of developing a marketplace-driven e-collaboration system that accelerates innovation in advanced manufacturing), Connect (an organization that links investors and entrepreneurs together), (a web portal used to link buyers with suppliers and the database partner of Connect), the Hudson Valley Center (a non-profit organization that facilitates the innovative technology integration and development in New York state) and the Center for Economic Growth (a non-profit that fosters New York state economic growth).

The goal of NSNI is to strength the US supply chain and grow the country’s manufacturing base.

Being implemented as a pilot project, NSNI is designed to help small and mid-sized manufacturers become suppliers to large national manufacturers, to use an online network to link all of the organizations so they can benefit from each others’ advice and experience, and to allow the larger companies help their smaller partners innovate. Eventually the plan is to expand the reach of the network outside of the Michigan-based automotive manufacturing circle.

“The NSNI is intended to develop a comprehensive method to connect the supply chain. Much of the needed information and resources exist, but there is no easy way for especially small and mid-sized manufacturers to access it. Better connectivity could provide manufacturers the necessary access to resources ranging from IP, expertise, and software tools to test facilities products, parts and capital. A state-of-the-art online network that leverages existing networks and resources will create the needed connectivity, leveraging existing expertise and information,” said Sridhar Kota, University of Michigan.

“Large manufacturers need to be able to easily identify smaller manufacturers who are able to supply needed goods and smaller manufacturers need to know where their potential markets lie and have access to the latest innovation in order to improve manufacturing processes and product design. CGI has provided the vehicle for those now engaged in the NSNI to come together to identify and solve this fundamental problem,” said Mike Russo, senior manager, government relations, GlobalFoundries.