McDowell contributes chapter to book shared at G7 summit

May 29, 2017 | Atlanta, GA

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The next production revolution will occur because of a confluence of technologies, according to a recent book, “The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Governments and Business.”

The book, released ahead of the G7 summit held in Italy recently, was published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a global organization based in Paris that promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. This book offers an in-depth assessment of the medium-term economic and policy implications of these new and emerging production technologies.

Georgia Tech’s David L. McDowell contributed one of the five chapters focusing on those key emerging technologies. His chapter, “Revolutionizing product design and performance with materials innovation” explores the impact of emerging trends at the intersection of computational modeling, big data, and high throughput experiments  on acceleration of the discovery and development of new materials, including their incorporation into manufactured products.

McDowell serves as the Executive Director for the Institute for Materials and is a Regents' Professor and Carter N. Paden, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Metals Processing.

"This work is a rare opportunity to help define the key policy issues in government, industry and academia that will need to be addressed to realize the potential of an exploding marketplace of concepts for new materials by design and how this will affect distributed manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, a cyber-enabled materials supply chain, and the digital materials and manufacturing thread,” he said.  'This volume offers a unique opportunity for Georgia Tech’s thought leadership in defining and establishing a materials innovation ecosystem that anticipates and prepares the future workforce for this bold new future of materials research and development.”

The publication, launched May 10 in Rome, examines the opportunities and challenges for business and government within these areas, which include digital technologies (e.g. the Internet of Things and advanced robotics), industrial biotechnology, 3D printing, new materials and nanotechnology. Some of these technologies are already used in production, while others will be available in the near future — all are developing rapidly.

As these technologies transform the production and the distribution of goods and services, they will have far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, income distribution, health and well-being, and the environment. The more that governments and firms understand how production could develop in the near future, the better placed they will be to address the risks and reap the benefits.

In addition to five chapters on key emerging technologies, the book also includes six chapters on cross-cutting themes, including “The rise of advanced manufacturing institutes in the US” and “China and the next production revolution.”