Ninety percent of American business leaders agree that green technologies and the energy industry will power manufacturing growth in the U.S. over the next three years, along with high-tech and biotechnology, according to a survey of 360 senior industry executives about the future of manufacturing sponsored by GE and carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The same large majority also believes that innovation will be the future driver of manufacturing growth in America with 63% of respondents stressing that innovation in manufacturing processes was extremely important to the long-term success of the U.S. as a manufacturing destination.
The three greatest assets providing the U.S. manufacturing industry with an edge over emerging markets, according to the surveyed executives, are innovative processes, intellectual property protection and the high quality of products.
The polled group also agreed that business-led initiatives are the key to the future competitiveness of the industry, rather than government incentives to bolster innovation. The executives do see a role for the government in improving science and math education, offering tax incentives, and creating a better regulatory environment.
Our graphic below illustrates more from the survey.
The survey was carried out in August 2011. Some 40% of the 360 respondents were board members or C-level executives, including 96 CEOs, from industries such as high-tech, electronics, energy, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and other. More than half run companies with annual revenues above $500 million and one third with revenues over $10 billion.
In conjunction with the survey, Visualizing.org, a data visualization initiative jointly created by GE and Seed Media Group, has announced a public challenge to interpret the EIU data and other government manufacturing statistics. The goal is to visualize the information in a compelling way that illustrates the dynamics of U.S. manufacturing. The winner will receive a $2,000 prize. An honorable mention recipient will receive a $500 courtesy prize. The prizes will be funded by GE. The submission deadline is November 8, 2011.