In 1989, the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity produced the Made in America report. One of the recommendations of Made in America was to establish the Industrial Performance Center (IPC) to carry on the interdisciplinary investigations of industrial productivity, innovation, and competitiveness that the Commission had begun.

Established in 1991, with the help of a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the IPC has brought together faculty and students from all five MIT Schools in research collaborations on industry. Since its inception, the faculty, students and affiliates of the IPC have produced numerous books, articles, papers and other publications that have advanced the understanding of strategic, technological, and organizational developments in a broad range of industries.

In the decades since, IPC scholars have been involved in large projects on globalization, culminating in the publication of "How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing To Make it in Today's Global Economy" (2005), as well as studies of manufacturing, which led to the publication of Production in the Innovation Economy (2014) and Making in America (2014). Most recently, the IPC was the organizational hub for MIT's Work of the Future Task Force, which published a series of papers, briefs, and reports, as well as a book, "The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in the Age of Intelligent Machines" (2022).


Research Thrusts

The IPC's current research is organized around three programs, each of which involves collaborations with affiliated researchers across MIT and beyond.

Work of the Future

The MIT Work of the Future initiative explores the relationship between technology, work and society. It envisions an economy where dramatic advances in automation and computation go hand in hand with improved opportunities and economic security for workers.


Manufacturing research at the IPC examines technology adoption, workforce development, and productivity at U.S. factories. With teams of engineers and social scientists, the IPC has a long legacy of industry studies research in manufacturing dating back to the Made in America study published in 1989.

Progress Studies

How can science make faster progress toward addressing big, broadly desirable goals like abundant affordable clean energy and curing dementia? We advance research and intellectual exchange around the emerging field of Progress Studies, focused on new models for harnessing scientific inquiry to improve humanity.


IPC Scholars

Today, the IPC draws on the expertise of faculty, students, and staff from across MIT in pursuit of its three main research thrusts in manufacturing, progress studies, and the Work of the Future Initiative. Our work benefits from the contribution of faculty affiliates, student fellows, and program leads who help implement our programs.