TechShop milling machine

It's one thing to come up with a clever product idea, but it's something else to actually build it; it can be tough to find the materials you need, let alone the tools to put everything together. That's where a new round of White House initiatives might just lend a helping hand. As part of its open data efforts, the administration is upgrading its research data site so that startups can easily find government manufacturing and research facilities; the Department of Energy and NASA have outlets dedicated to working on clean energy and aeronautics, for example. The project will eventually surface government-backed patents and other manufacturing info that's frequently tough to track down.

The government is also expanding the research behind its Materials Genome Initiative, which helps American companies make their own advanced parts. More than $150 million is going toward public-private partnerships that help companies build everything from relatively ordinary electronics to exotic alloys and biomaterials. It's too soon to know whether the open data or extra funding will pay dividends, but we suspect that fledgling tech firms won't mind getting some help in making their dreams a reality.

[Image credit: TechShop, Flickr]

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White House helps tech startups make advanced parts