2023 Manufacturing@MIT Annual Symposium

 Charting the Future of Production in a Time of Shifting Globalization

Session video available by expanding the agenda items below

In the 1990s, the US government, countries including China and India, and international bodies such as the World Trade Organization sought to open borders to worldwide trade and capital flows. Today, many large companies are proactively reshaping their supply chains, anticipating continued uncertainty in global affairs, impacts of climate change, and more. 

In the United States, government and industry are seeking to build a stronger industrial base to reduce reliance on overseas suppliers. New rules sharply limit the export of US semiconductor components, and “Buy American” clauses in recent legislation affect imports across key industries. Statistics on the volume of trade in goods and capital flows show they remain high, but peaked about 15 years ago. Globalization may, in fact, be reversing.

With this, and the maturation of digital production technologies, manufacturing’s landscape is changing. Advances in 3D printing, sensors, AI, and robotics will allow us to achieve far-greater efficiencies in production, even in high-cost countries. Integrated with production systems, these technologies will lead to greater connectivity among factories and greater output, more flexibility and resilience, and accelerated development and deployment of low-carbon solutions.  

Join us to discuss these pressing issues and look to the future.

May 23, 2023

8:30am – 5:00pm

Reception to follow

Wong Auditorium

Bldg. E51, 70 Memorial Dr.

Cambridge, MA, 02139

Thanks to our partners:


Click through to view session descriptions and speaker information.

8:30-8:45 am - Welcome & Introduction

John Hart, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty Lead, Manufacturing@MIT Working Group, MIT

Session video

8:45 - 9:15 am - Innovation in a Time of Deglobalization

Suzanne Berger, Institute Professor of Political Science, MIT

As the world reconfigures its supply chains in response to global political instability and increasing barriers to free trade, we must ask how the global innovation economy will change.

Session video

9:15 - 10:00 am - Industrial Policy for Manufacturing: Lessons and Recommendations
William B. Bonvillian, Director of Special Projects, MIT Open Learning
Sir. Michael Gregory, Professor and Founding Director, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge
Elisabeth Reynolds, Partner at .Unless, Lecturer at MIT and Former Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing and Economic Development

Moderated by: Peter Goodman, The New York Times

Governments are growing their domestic manufacturing bases and building talent and innovation ecosystems to support them. Here, we reflect upon models for industrial policy, and recommend new approaches for an uncertain future.

Session video

10:00 - 10:30 am - A Perspective on the Labor Market for Manufacturing

David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics, MIT

U.S. manufacturing employment has lost tremendous ground over the last 25 years. But the landscape of trade, technology, and public policy have shifted seismically since 2016. We will discuss how we got to this point, what changes are now underway, and what this may portend for our manufacturing workforce.

Session video

10:45 - 11:30 am - Deploying Digital Production at Scale
Antonin Bacot, Co-Founder and CEO, Topologic
Martin Feldmann, Co-Founder and CEO, VulcanForms
Nate Tedford, Head of Foundry, Gingko Bioworks

Moderated by: Jane Arnold, Venture Partner, Momenta

Digital manufacturing may mean the introduction of new technology into an existing firm’s operations. It may also mean the invention of new business models and production modes that are made viable solely because of advanced technology. In this session, we discuss these new models with startups achieving breakthroughs in scale and innovation.

Session video

11:30 - 12:00 pm - Regional Manufacturing Solutions
Ben Armstrong, Executive Director, Industrial Performance Center, MIT
Yvonne Hao, Secretary of Economic Development, State of Massachusetts
Sienna Luis, Venture Development Manager, MassVentures

Building on themes from the earlier sessions, we will share MIT research and industry perspectives on how communities can come together to solve local manufacturing challenges with region-specific solutions.

Session video

12:00 - 12:45 pm - Lunch

A selection of Cambridge’s finest individually boxed lunches. Dietary preferences and restrictions collected upon registration.

12:45 - 1:15 pm - China's Manufacturing Ecosystem
Yasheng Huang, Epoch Foundation Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
Peter Goodman, Global Economics Correspondent, New York Times

China’s investments in its industrial base, coupled with low labor costs and offshoring from around the world, created an unparalleled manufacturing ecosystem. To what extent are current events affecting China’s manufacturers–both domestically and abroad–and will other regions develop competing capabilities?

Session video

1:15 - 2:00 pm - The Next Generation of Semiconductor Technology
Chris Miller, Professor of International History, Tufts University. Author of Chip War.
Ahmad Bahai, Chief Technology Officer, Texas Instruments

Beyond the drive to re-establish domestic capacity for leading-edge semiconductor nodes, technologies in the lab today are poised to define the next generation of technology including the building blocks of quantum computing, immersive AR/VR displays, and more. We will highlight transformative advances and discuss this exciting future.

Session video

2:00 - 2:30 pm - The Promise of Biomanufacturing
Chris Love, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Biomanufacturing will change the food we eat, energy we use, and how we cure diseases. It has the potential to drastically reduce our reliance on greenhouse gases. But there are enormous challenges to getting promising advances from labs to the market. Standing up a large-scale manufacturing facility can run to $2 billion, the field is full of regulatory hurdles, and workers need advanced training. We’ll look ahead at promising biomanufacturing solutions, and what it will take to scale them.

Session video

2:45 - 3:15 pm - The Evolution of Supply Chains
Janet Godsell, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, Loughborough University
Elsa Olivetti, Co-Director of the Climate and Sustainability Consortium, and Esther & Harold E. Edgerton Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

Moderated by: Peter Goodman, The New York Times

The pandemic, war in Europe, and tensions with China have disrupted supply chains. We will reflect upon this rapid reconfiguration, and discuss the future of logistics, environmental sustainability, and supply chain management, including the roles of automation and data.

Session video

3:15 - 3:45 pm - Rebuilding the Manufacturing Workforce

John Liu, Lecturer and PI, Learning Engineering and Practice Group, MIT
Tom Kurfess, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and Chief Manufacturing Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Maria Flynn, CEO, Jobs for the Future

As the US and other countries seek to strengthen their industrial bases, they need access to a ready workforce. In this session, we evaluate the state of the workforce, and look for high-impact programs from the US and abroad, as well as new solutions, to build a resilient manufacturing workforce.

Session video

3:45 - 4:30 pm - Investing in Industrial Transformation

Jason Rathje, Office of Strategic Capital, Department of Defense
Susan Schofer, Partner, SOSV/HAX
Anthony Manzo, EVP Corporate Development, Re:Build Manufacturing

Moderated by: Dayton Horvath, Director, Emerging Technology, The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)

In the penultimate session of the day, we reflect on the importance of private capital to drive industrial transformation, and metrics for evaluating and sustaining long-term investment.

4:30 - 5:00 pm - The Future of Manufacturing

David Mindell, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, MIT

In light of recent developments in global politics and economics, and advances in technology on the horizon, what is the future of manufacturing and what should we look toward as a preferred outcome?

Session video

5:10 - 6:30 pm - Reception

Reception (21+), featuring drinks and hors d’ouevres.



$350 – General Admission

No charge for MIT community members and members of other academic institutions.


Hosted by the Manufacturing@MIT Working Group, in collaboration with our partners:



The 2023 Symposium is held at Wong Auditorium, located in MIT Building E51 (“Tang Center”)

A map can be found here.



By Car: Limited parking is available close to the event venue. Public transportation or rideshare app are recommended. If you are traveling by car, a list of the closest parking garages can be found here.

By Train: The most direct option is taking the subway red line to the “Kendall/MIT” station and walking from there. The venue is a ~3 minute walk from the station. An MBTA Subway Map can be found here.

If coming via Boston Logan International Airport, take the blue line shuttle to “Airport” station, then take the blue line inbound (towards Bowdoin) to “State Street” station. From there, you can transfer to the orange line, traveling one stop (towards Forest Hills) to the “Downtown Crossing” station, from which you can take the red line direct to “Kendall/MIT” station. If more convenient, you can also walk directly from State Street Station to Downtown Crossing by exiting at State Street, skipping the orange line.


There are a large number of accommodations in the immediate area surrounding MIT. We recommend choosing from one of MIT’s Preferred Hotels, a complete list for which can be found here.

No special rates are available for attendees of this event, though “MIT rates” may be available upon phone inquiry to one of the Preferred Hotels in the list above.


MIT’s campus is accessible to those with physical disabilities, and all reasonable accommodation will be made for any attendee who requires it. If you require an accommodation, please do not hesitate to reach out to the event organizers using the contact email address (mfgsymposium@mit.edu) above.


In the morning and afternoon, coffee, tea, and an assortment of pastries and other cold-served items will be available. During lunch, individually boxed lunches will be served. The meals for the event include vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, and ingredients, including common allergens, will be clearly displayed. If you have a specific allergy or dietary preference, please do not hesitate to reach out to the event organizers and we will gladly accommodate you.