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The Industries Advancing Manufacturing in the Northeast

Manufacturing in the Northeast region of the United States is rapidly expanding, with advanced manufacturing technologies contributing to industry growth. In recent years, this area has successfully merged its traditional manufacturing roots and modern manufacturing ideologies to become an industrial hub.

Manufacturing was the third biggest contributor to Massachusetts’ GDP in 2022, accounting for more than 10% of the state’s GDP. This statistic is a comparable data point for the whole Northeast manufacturing region. Access to top universities, research institutions, and cutting-edge technology has helped advance manufacturing in the Northeast and attract leading industries to the region.

Renewable Energy

Investing in renewable energy has been a focus for the Northeast, especially within the past few years. Wind energy is growing its presence in the region, with wind farms cropping up in different areas such as Massachusetts and Maine. The region is ideal for offshore wind development due to easy access to coastal waters. This access has helped position the Northeast as an untapped resource for renewable energy.

These offshore wind developments are attracting the advanced manufacturing sector to the region. Industrial companies are making sustainability a priority and are looking to move to areas — such as the Northeast — that have the capabilities to support their eco-friendly initiatives. Additionally, building wind farms is bringing business to Northeast manufacturing companies.

Aside from helping the economy, these developments are also at the forefront of innovation. Implementing advanced manufacturing technologies, in particular additive manufacturing, has helped to improve the development of wind turbines. Recent developments include 3D printing of wind turbines and turbine blades, and 3D printing of turbine parts from recyclable materials. All of this is helping to advance manufacturing in the Northeast region.

Medical Device Manufacturing

Another prevalent industry in the Northeast is medical device manufacturing. Modern medical devices are smaller and smarter. They utilize technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and remote monitoring to better track patient health. These devices are favored by the medical device industry because they consistently improve quality of life for patients. This has spurred the advancement of medical device manufacturing methods in order to meet demand.

The Northeast industrial sector has proven to be an area that breeds innovation for medical device manufacturing and allows the industry to thrive. One example of this is the collaboration between researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Mass General Hospital. These researchers have worked together for years to advance medical devices and technologies and improve patient care. Partnerships like these have helped the Northeast region to become a leader in medical device manufacturing.

Defense Manufacturing

The Northeast has shown a commitment to growing defense manufacturing. The region is home to organizations dedicated to the industry's advancement. These include the Connecticut Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium and the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium (NHADEC), among others. The consortiums are focused on expanding defense manufacturing within their individual states by supporting research, development, and production capabilities.

Additionally, the organizations work to create a community of engineers, manufacturers, companies, and contractors in the defense manufacturing space. These connections extend across New England and help to drive innovation and advancement in the region’s defense industry. National defense is investing in cutting-edge technologies and seeking to partner with more capable advanced manufacturing companies. Organizations like NHADEC are ensuring the New England region is a contender for these new defense contracts.

Advanced Manufacturing in the Northeast

Smart technologies like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality have helped to advance the manufacturing industry within the past 10 to 20 years. These high-tech technologies have led to cutting-edge innovations in leading industries such as healthcare, automotive, and energy. All these industries are prevalent in the Northeast U.S. manufacturing sector. This area is poised for economic growth in manufacturing due to its focus on regional collaboration and its commitment to growing advanced manufacturing.

One example of the region’s dedication is the recent proposal to create the Northeast Microelectronics Coalition. More than 85 organizations from across the Northeast submitted this proposal to the federal government. It outlines the development of a regional microelectronics hub that will work to advance the needs of the Department of Defense. This hub will also create new jobs in the Northeast, generate workforce development opportunities, and provide continued investment in the manufacturing sector, with a focus on advanced manufacturing and technology.

This coalition is made up of organizations from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. If the proposal is accepted, the hub will become a part of the Department of Defense’s Microelectronics Commons program, and will be funded by the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act. Onshoring microelectronics manufacturing in the Northeast will spur continued growth in the region, helping to make it an advanced manufacturing hub within the United States. 

To learn more about manufacturing in the Northeast and to meet with top industry leaders in the region, attend EASTEC