Technology Policy

Founding Executive Director (2015-present) of MForesight: Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, a federally-funded (2015-2020) independent national consortium (think-and-do tank) focused on enhancing U.S. manufacturing consortium.

MForesight taps the collective wisdom of the national manufacturing community, including researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, to:

  • Identify emerging technologies and cross-cutting challenges important to U.S. manufacturing competitiveness
  • Determine barriers to broad implementation of these technologies
  • Develop recommendations to overcome the barriers, and
  • Secure U.S. leadership in these technologies. 

Last year alone, MForesight engaged over 2,000 experts in various workshops and meetings; its reports were downloaded by over 20,000 community members.

Its findings and recommendations have been regularly presented to policy/decision makers at numerous federal agencies (by design and through the National Science and Technology Council) and on Capitol Hill (by invitation).

MForesight has addressed critical issues such as biomanufacturing, cybersecurity, advanced materials, next-generation supply chains, workforce development, and multiple grand challenges facing U.S. industry.

Projects have supported the missions of multiple federal agencies, including Energy, Commerce, NSF, and the Army. MForesight’s scope of work has been determined by a combination of agency requests and high-priority topics identified by the MForesight Leadership Council.

Manufacturing Prosperity: A Bold Strategy for National Wealth and Security (2018) and Reclaiming America’s Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing (2019) presented specific recommendations to rebuild the U.S. industrial commons and to create national wealth and security from America’s large R&D investments. 

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2009-2012)

Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing

In this role, Kota developed policy recommendations and implementation strategies to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and foster innovation-based manufacturing of emerging technologies.

Kota’s signature contribution was his proposal (in 2010) to establish President Obama’s Manufacturing Innovation Institutes to close the innovation gap between science and manufacturing.

He also played an instrumental role in launching several initiatives, including:

  • National Manufacturing Innovation Institutes
  • National Robotics Initiative
  • National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium.

The following testimonials describe Dr. Kota’s instrumental role in defining and shaping the President’s innovation policy and helped the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) develop a set of recommendations.

  • “Professor Kota has brought clear vision around advanced manufacturing and played a key role in shaping the nation’s program to revitalize this critical sector of our economy. He’s been a great asset and resource.” – Dr. Eric Lander, PCAST co-chair and Director of Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
  • “The Advanced Manufacturing Initiative is a direct outgrowth of the intellectual leadership Professor Kota provided to the PCAST. The nation owes him a debt of gratitude for his dedication and hard work” – Professor Rosina Bierbaum, PCAST member.

Other Initiatives

  • Orchestrated (2009-11) the establishment of a National Robotics Initiative by leading multi-agency (NSF, NIH, USDA and NASA) teams towards a common vision. Launched with $70 million funding in June 2011.
  • Proposed and helped EDA establish a pilot program to democratize the use of modeling and simulation tools by small and medium sized manufacturers in the Midwest by lowering the barriers to entry. Established the National Design Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium (NDEMC) in March 2011.
  • Defined the charter for and coordinated the Interagency Working Group on Advanced Manufacturing. Released our National Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing report in February 2012.
  • Orchestrated development of an online market place to connect American manufacturers, Connecting American Manufacturing (CAM) with the needs of the Department of Defense.
  • Created the community in 2012—a one-stop web portal to transform ideas into products made in the U.S.—connecting researchers, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and universities with data, tools, applications and challenges.

Clinton Global Initiative

Kota served as the Advisor to Clinton Global Initiative (CGI-America) on Advanced Manufacturing, 2011-13.

He convened leaders from industry, government and academia who made specific commitments to promote advanced manufacturing including image campaign, online networking (National Supply Chain Network Initiative), skills development, regional clusters, export strategies and technology tools for training.

Institute for Manufacturing Leadership

After returning to University of Michigan in 2013, Kota established Institute for Manufacturing Leadership, focusing on policy, education and outreach.

Organized a public private stakeholders symposium series in Washington with an inaugural symposium on Shale Gas: A Game Changer for American Manufacturing.

Reports and Articles

For a complete listing of various reports and articles, visit Mforesight.