Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE)
The MIT initiative, Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) sought to analyze the state of production in the United States and to propose new routes from innovation through manufacturing to jobs and growth in the United States. Developments emerging in laboratories like those at MIT in areas including energy, life sciences, transportation, environment, communication, and security have the potential for extraordinary contributions to human well-being. To transform these technologies into flows of new products, services, and processes, we need systems of production different from old-style manufacturing. Countries that can build powerful links between research in the laboratory and new manufacturing will emerge as the ones that benefit the most from their innovative capabilities. Manufacturing is on the critical path delivering innovation in science and technology to end-users, whether in new medicines, high-tech devices, or electric vehicles. Our question was: how can the United States create and sustain these new production systems?
The Production in the Innovation Economy project brought together MIT faculty from a variety of disciplines — economics, engineering, political science, management, biology, and others -- to look at U.S. industry in comparative perspective. The PIE Commission was chaired by Professor Suzanne Berger (Political Science) and Professor Phillip Sharp (Biology). The goal is to shed light on how strengths in innovation can be scaled up into new productive capabilities. Faculty and graduate research assistants examined the state of the U.S. manufacturing sector today and its key challenges and compare it to industrial economies in other countries. The goal was to develop recommendations for transforming America's production capabilities in an era of increased global competition.