Rick Jarman, President & CEO National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.
Rick leads the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the largest collaborative R&D consortium in North America which is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, and robotics manufacturing. Prior to this position at NCMS, Mr. Jarman was Director of Technology Partnerships at the Eastman-Kodak Company where he was a driving force to forge alliances with industry and government in order to improve commercialization processes through innovation and technology. Rick managed global relationships and programs with policy makers, partners, and consortia management in order to leverage synergistic and strategic partnerships. In 1988, he represented Kodak on the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange. He played a key role on the trade committee during the Commission’s meetings in the USSR and Western Europe and served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics in the Pentagon. Rick serves on industry boards and advisory groups related to his work in building collaborative alliances. He is the Co-author of the book “Collaborative R&D: Manufacturing’s New Tool” published by John Wiley & Sons N.Y.
2012 Michigan Robotics Day – Opening Remarks
Welcome to the Second annual Michigan Robotics Day presented by the
National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the University of Michigan,
Toyota and 25 other sponsors and exhibitors.
At the inaugural Michigan Robotics Day held at NCMS here in Ann Arbor last
year, we were thrilled with the turn out and the excitement that was created as
robots roamed the hallways of our Ann Arbor headquarters and the excitement
conveyed to us in classrooms throughout the state and country who were
viewing our webcast. We thought the fact that we had a cooler for our water in
the shape of R2D2 was really spectacular, and this year, we actually have R2D2
roaming the halls!
In our second year holding this event, we have more than doubled attendance.
Robotics represents a major global economic opportunity in Michigan and this
state has the talent, background, and head start in the industry, positioning us
to be a global leader in this critical technology for many years to come.
This is not solely due to our rich heritage in building automobiles but also our
knowledge and understanding of manufacturing and the innovation and
productivity that results from our continuous investment.
When it comes to manufacturing, Michigan can still be a world leader. This is
exactly why NCMS has been located here for more 26 years. The Super Bowl ad
expounding that Detroit is back, has done wonders to resurrect the image of
Detroit automakers. We have the world’s attention- what are we going to show
In the current state of the world, robots are “must have tools” on the
battlefield, in the operating room, on the farm, on the factory floor and
hopefully soon coming to a highway near you. They will be guided by a new
generation of soldiers, doctors, farmers, manufactures and drivers. All assisted
by the next generation of builders, innovators and STEM students with the skills
to move these technologies forward, students like we have here today.
The excitement and anticipation from the inaugural event, are back again
today. We hope this event inspires the next Henry Ford or Helen Greiner to
create innovations we haven’t yet dreamed of. Today we will celebrate the
amazing advances made in robotics here in Michigan and we will hear about
future opportunities from some of the leading minds in the field. We will
network with experts and learn about how robotics will help shape our future.
In last Saturdays Washington Post, Ezra Klein said when writing about the
economy that ” extrapolating current trends to the year 2080 was ridiculous
because by then we’ll probably be robots or servants of robots or a bit bit of
I’m not sure that is true — I think the innovators here will convince you that
the people are still in charge!
And today we want to share and demonstrate that with all of you.
Those who know us at NCMS, know we have a simple yet powerful recipe for
R&D collaboration to speed technology development and commercialization.
that brings together:
NCMS has lead the way in making collaboration work —- and it does —-
constantly proving that collaborating leads to less cost — less risk — and
faster time to commercialization and deployment — never a problem with tech
We believe that true innovation, lies at the intersection of Talent, Investment
Michigan Robotics Day brings together all of these groups along with elements
that are essential to driving Innovation. And we want to highlight some of
things that we have done in this room, allowing us to better compete globally.
Today, I ask you to engage in this discussion as well as the national discussion
on the value of Manufacturing. There is some great work being done by
numerous universities including Michigan and in the President’s Advanced
Manufacturing Partnership to illustrate the value of Manufacturing. Last
December we met in this exact place to set this agenda. We all need to be at the
forefront of that discussion.
Remember —-Other regions have eyes on these prizes too…
New players like Tesla and Google have entered the automotive space and
others such as Toyota, BMW, and Nissan are expanding development of next
I saw the Detroit Free Press a few weeks ago, that a Michigan automaker
supplier was getting ready to send their autonomous vehicle to Nevada for
testing. Why is Nevada taking the lead on this? Again infrastructure. Other
states are increasing investment and their focus on STEM.
Michigan has some of the most extensive automotive testing facilities in the
world —why aren’t autonomous vehicles on the roads here?
At NCMS we have also identified other National Strategic Needs- such as a
Digital Manufacturing Network for modeling and simulation design tools, and
we implementing those plans here in Michigan and around the country, with the
goal of helping you all work together.
NCMS is also taking advantage of the robotics cluster already blossoming here
in the state, to assemble a robotics strategic interest group.
Potential program areas include:
1. Robotic Services Transformation
a. Airport Services
b. Electric Vehicle for Cold Weather Evaluation
c. Military/Civilian Dual Use Battery Program
2. Midwest Autonomous Vehicle Accelerator (MAVA)
a. Postal Vehicle Retrofit
b. Autonomous Technology Augmentation for Heavy Transport
c. Autonomous Vehicle Legal Framework
d. Autonomous Vehicles for Mass Transit
We’d love to talk about these opportunities with you.
Michigan needs to Have a COLLABORATIVE agenda that will unleash the power
of companies in this state to seize the initiative in the production of
autonomous vehicles and robots.
This is a tactical opportunity for Michigan- Robotics and Autonomous
Vehicles represent massive opportunities for the United States.
We have surveyed areas that are primed to take advantage of these
opportunities and recognize Michigan as having the emerging cluster
ecosystem needed, an ecosystem to enable the emergence of outliers which
drives innovative growth.
What does the cluster ecosystem need in order to thrive? It needs the
collaboration of research institutions, private industry, strong vocation schools,
STEM programs at the secondary levels, a vibrant maker community and
cooperative state, local and federal governments.
All of those things are represented here today.