Printer Friendly

GM EXEC PRESSES FOR MORE JOINT R&D

 GM EXEC PRESSES FOR MORE JOINT R&D
 TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- General Motors


(NYSE: GM) and its domestic competitors have made great strides in working together and cooperating with government, but more joint research and development is needed, especially in manufacturing, for the industry to remain globally competitive, a GM executive said today.
 Speaking at the University of Michigan Automotive Management Briefing, GM Vice President for Advanced Engineering Donald L. Runkle said that the U.S. must direct more of the nation's technology resources toward industry in order to make America economically strong.
 "The good news is we have formed some successful partnerships which we feel will help make us more competitive and productive," Runkle said. "The bad news is that the partnering process isn't working as smoothly as it should, and that improving it in any significant way will involve a reassessment of our national R&D priorities.
 "The 1991 federal R&D budget of $71 billion had practically nothing devoted to manufacturing," Runkle said. He noted that 54 percent was allocated for national defense and the military, 12 percent for space programs and less than 1 percent for "Department of Commerce-types of manufacturing programs."
 "The 1992 budget is only slightly better in this area," Runkle said. "We should devote at least 20 percent of our federal R&D budget to manufacturing if we expect American industry to be a player in the 21st Century."
 Runkle stated that the federal laboratory system is something that should be leveraged for the economic strength of America. "Taken as a whole, the federal laboratory system is home to some of the brightest and most talented scientists, engineers and technicians in the world using some of the most sophisticated equipment and facilities," he said.
 "By teaming together with industry, the federal labs can help end the days when a single company or an industry has to go it alone against the concerted efforts of an entire country."
 The National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act of 1989 gave federal laboratories the opportunity to enter into Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with industry. At last count, GM had signed 11 CRADAs with various national laboratories since January worth more than $5 million, with another 250 potential projects under discussion.
 Runkle suggested a number of ideas to make the federal labs and the CRADA process more accessible to American industry. In addition to making more funds available for technology transfer at government labs, he would like to see the CRADA process made more flexible and autonomous so each lab would be able to approve its own cooperative agreements.
 At the same time, he said the CRADA process should be simplified and standardized for all labs. "CRADAs must be completed within one to two weeks if government expects to work with industry," Runkle said.
 But Runkle said the existing CRADA process will not work for what he called "megaprojects" and that a new cooperative R&D mechanism should be developed.
 In addition to the CRADAs, GM, Ford and Chrysler have formed nine automotive consortia to share precompetitive research in areas of joint interest. Some of these areas include emissions, advanced materials, recycling and advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Runkle said anti-trust laws should be reviewed to make possible more joint research. "They were written for a different time and are now probably out of date," he said.
 Similar in purpose to horizontal consortia, where competing firms work together, Runkle cited a form of vertical consortia, in which non- competing firms cooperate. He urged support for the U.S. Commerce Department's Strategic Partnerships Initiative which aims to help manufacturers, suppliers and others overcome the costs and risks of bringing large scale technologies to market.
 Another form of cross-industry cooperation has led to the development of a vision for the next manufacturing paradigm beyond mass production and its successor, lean production. Called the "Agile Enterprise," the strategy was devised by an industry-led group which convened at the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University.
 "Since we don't know what it's going to be like out there in the future," Runkle said, "we have to have agile organizations and manufacturing to deal with whatever happens."
 Runkle said the Lehigh study makes the case that no one organization in industry or government has the ability or resources to build the agile enterprise paradigm alone. Rather, American industry, government and academia should join together to ensure the U.S. does not get "beaten to the punch" in this next paradigm.
 "We need to be the inventors of this next paradigm of production," said Runkle.
 -0- 8/6/92
 /CONTACT: David E. Sloan of GM News Relations, 313-986-5721/
 (GM) CO: General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE008 -- 7429 08/06/92 08:59 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1992
Words:795
Previous Article:SMALL BUSINESS TAKES STEPS TO PREPARE FOR SLOW RECOVERY
Next Article:CITY OF HOPE A SURE WINNER IN SOFTBALL GAME BETWEEN HOME DEPOT AND HOMEBASE
Topics:


Related Articles
GENERAL MOTORS FORMS HUNGARIAN JOINT VENTURE TO PRODUCE SPARK PLUGS
GENERAL MOTORS FORMS HUNGARIAN JOINT VENTURE TO PRODUCE SPARK PLUGS
UAW AND GENERAL MOTORS ANNOUNCE PURCHASE OF FLINT PROPERTY FOR JOINT PILOT CHILD-CARE CENTER
GENERAL MOTORS ANNOUNCES JOINT VENTURE IN CHINA
GM UNDERSCORES ITS COMMITMENT TO HISPANICS
GM STATEMENT ATTRIBUTABLE TO JOHN F. SMITH JR., CEO AND PRESIDENT, REGARDING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSAL
UAW-GM PEOPLE, PRODUCTS AND PRIDE TO BE SHOWCASED BY NEW JOINT MOTORSPORTS ACTIVITIES
SCHLAIS NAMED PRESIDENT GM CHINA OPERATIONS
GENERAL MOTORS ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF GM-CHINA TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTES

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters