The impacts of COVID-19 illustrate the risks involved in centering too much manufacturing, assembly, and intellectual property in one region. Yet the coming implementation of connected technologies, including automation, the Internet of Things, and 5G networks, depends on connectivity products that are currently made in China. Automation may be one way out.
Heavily impacted by the supply chain disruptions that happened during the early stages of the global pandemic—and that continue to effect specific business sectors months later—American manufacturers are rethinking their supply chains and coming up with new ways to shield them from future shocks.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched its Electronic Resurgence Initiative (ERI) in 2017 with the intention of reshoring a domestic chip industry that has been moving steadily offshore for decades. Microelectronics are a foundational building block of most of our defense systems.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of long, complex supply chains. It has also shown how reliant many U.S. and European companies are on the overseas supply of critical items, bringing to the fore a long-debated issue—are we ready to reshore?