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Commerce Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Visits Department Campuses in Boulder

Acting Deputy Blank shown on tour with mechanical equipment

Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled to Boulder, Colorado this week to visit some of the department’s state-of-the-art facilities run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Her four-hour tour included stops at the nation’s time standard, NIST's F-1 Cesium Fountain Clock; the quantum devices group where NIST scientists study and make volt standards, photon detectors and quantum computing chips; the temperature, humidity and vibration controlled Precision Measurement Lab, under construction at NIST and due to be completed in the spring of 2012; and NTIA's radio, video and audio labs at the Public Safety Communications research facility.

At NOAA, Blank saw demonstrations of a unique visualization tool, Science on a Sphere; toured the Space Weather Prediction Center and the National Weather Service’s Forecast Research Center; viewed a demonstration of the wind profiler model; and visited the Global Monitoring Division and the Environmental Data Archive.

The cutting-edge work that takes place at the department impacts the daily lives of the American people – from the accurate timekeeping ability of the Atomic Clock to high-tech weather forecasting capabilities to the continuous improvement of communications devices used by first responders. The scientists and researchers at NIST, NTIA and NOAA are leaders in research and development and help to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation and global leadership.

Working with the Private-Sector to Enhance Cybersecurity

Howard Schmidt, Philip Reitinger, Dr. Patrick Gallagher

NIST Director Patrick Gallagher joined White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, Philip Reitinger of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Michael Kaiser of the National Cyber Security Alliance at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week to discuss the need for increased public-private collaboration in cybersecurity

Engaging an audience of several hundred people, the panel highlighted the value of cybersecurity education and discussed ways to increase government-industry collaboration in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats in cyberspace.

Collaboration "is critical to winning the future," Schmidt said. "From everyday users to specialists who tackle our most challenging questions, the goal is to get everyone pulling in the same direction."

The panel also addressed a new Obama administration initiative to make the online environment more secure and convenient – the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. To be led by the private sector with coordination by the Commerce Department, the effort aims to develop voluntary identity credentials that limit the amount of personal information consumers must share online. Consumers could use the credential – a smart card, digital software certificate in their cell phone or other technology – to prove their identity for sensitive online transactions like banking or checking health care records. For surfing the Web, blogging, or other activities, they could remain anonymous.

"At NIST, just about every activity is done in conjunction with the private sector," Gallagher said. "It is the way we do business."

 

 

The Commercial Service Will Find You the Perfect Partner this Valentine’s Day

U.S. Commercial Service Logo

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service can help businesses find their perfect match in each of more than 80 countries in just 15 business days. Our trained staff helps companies increase their sales by connecting them with strategic international partners through its International Partner Search.

It’s simple - companies provide background and marketing materials about what they do, and the Commercial Service uses its worldwide network and extensive contacts in the appropriate target markets to identify potential business opportunities. The result is a detailed description of up to five prequalified prospects. Working only with prequalified international partners that best meet each company’s business needs saves time and money. Commercial Service customers receive information on the marketability and sales potential of their products and services, as well as background on their prospective international partners.

For businesses that prefer face-to-face meetings, the Commercial Service offers the Gold Key Service, a tailored program where companies travel to a target business market and meet with potential agents, distributors, sales representatives, and other business partners. Before traveling, companies can get customized briefings by U.S. Commercial Service staff on industry sector market research and guidance with travel, accommodations, interpreter services, and clerical support. Following the trip, participants share their experiences with U.S. Commercial Service staff and together develop appropriate follow-up strategies. Businesses short on time also have the opportunity to use the Video Gold Key Service, which uses video conferencing in lieu of travel.

Ready to get started? Find your local Commercial Service specialist to schedule a meeting!

Commerce Department’s Proposed 2012 Budget

The Commerce Department’s proposed 2012 budget makes tough choices and reduces spending by $242 million, while making important investments that will help America out-build and out-innovate our economic competitors.With a proposed five-year, non-security discretionary spending freeze that will save $400 billion, President Obama’s budget reduces non-security, discretionary spending to its lowest percentage of the economy since President Dwight Eisenhower was in office.

Among the highlighted cuts and reductions:

  • $15.8 million from eliminating the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program;
  • $37.3 million from eliminating EDA’s 21st Century Innovation Infrastructure program;
  • $20 million by restructuring the International Trade Administration to focus on high-priority markets and industries. This means eliminating a number of foreign posts, among other cost savings;
  • $43 million by eliminating the Emergency Steel Guaranteed Loan Program;
  • More than $2 million by reducing the reliance of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program on federal funding and shifting it to a private sector footing, and;
  • $20 million by eliminating the Public Telecommunications Facilities, Planning and Construction Program.

In addition to the program cuts mentioned above, the budget includes savings that result from reforming the way Commerce works – doing more, while spending less. That meant changing how the department handles acquisitions and logistics, such as shipping, to find places where it can leverage buying power; tightening the filling of vacancies to the highest priority positions and better using information technologies. All told, the proposed 2012 budget finds more than $140 million in administrative savings.

Successful Trade Mission to India Wraps Up Today

Secretary Locke Meets a Member of the Dabbawala Association Organization

After the final day in Mumbai, Secretary Locke and delegates from the 24 U.S. businesses who travelled to India on the six-day high-tech trade mission to India wrapped up their business.

Secretary Locke said, “This trade mission was a resounding success.  For some companies on our trip, ‘success’ was an initial meeting or consultation with Indian government or business leaders that will lead to deals down the road. For others, success was more immediate with some companies leaving India on the cusp of making multimillion dollar sales.  Either way, these companies have made important inroads into one of the most promising high-technology markets in the world.”

On Friday morning, Secretary Locke met with the executive committee of the U.S- India Importers’ Council, an initiative developed to support Indian companies that import goods and services from the United States.  The mission of this Council is to advance President Obama’s National Export Initiative, and to support the efforts of Indian companies that import products from the U.S.
 
Locke then visited Mumbai’s legendary Dabbawala Association organization to learn about their unique logistics operation that delivers home-cooked food to hundreds of thousands of people daily.  Association president Raghunath Medge provided Locke with an overview of the organization’s labeling and sorting methodology and the dispatch process. Dabbawala’s lunch delivery service has been cited as a model of entrepreneurship and supply chain management at the grass-roots level. In the afternoon, Locke engaged in multiple bilateral meetings with Indian officials.

India Trade Mission Has Been a Success for Pelican Products

Scott Ermeti, VP Marketing and International Business, Pelican

Guest blog post by Scott Ermeti, Vice President, Marketing and International Business at Pelican Products.

Ed note: Pelican Products is a manufacturer of watertight protective cases, submersible flashlights and ATEX certified torches.

We are nearing the end of Secretary Locke’s weeklong “India High Tech Business Development Mission” and by nearly all measures it has been a success for Pelican Products.  As a mid-sized American manufacturer of high-performance protective cases & packaging solutions and portable lighting equipment, it would have been very difficult for us to have received such a fine and rapid indoctrination to the Indian market elsewhere. 

Multiple meetings and presentations have educated us on the enormous opportunities that exist here:

  • The Indian “middle class” is made up of more than 300 million persons; larger than the entire U.S. population
  • The Indian economy is forecasted to grow at a rate of 7-9% for the next five years.
  • The Indian government is forecasted to spend:
    • $50 billion dollars in Aerospace and Defense improvements in the next five years
    • $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements such as roads, bridges, and airports in the next five years.
  • Currently manufacturing makes up only 16% of Indian GDP, but the goal is to increase that percentage to 25% over the next 10 years.

U.S. Census Bureau Launches Interactive Map of Local 2010 Census Data

2010 Census Redistricting Data Release by State

The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a new, interactive map that conveniently and easily displays local-level 2010 Census population counts. The application allows users to compare county-level population change from 1960 to 2010, as well as state-level data on race and Hispanic or Latino origin for 2010.
 
Last week, the rollout of detailed data began with the release of local population counts for Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia. This week, local data for Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland and Vermont are being released. For each state, the Census provides summaries of population totals as well as data on race, Hispanic origin, and voting age for multiple geographies within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts. The counts are being delivered on a state-by-state basis, and all states will receive their data by April 1.

As new data is released, the Census Bureau will update the map. Learn more about your state.

Secretary Locke Arrives in Mumbai for Final Stop of High-Tech Trade Mission

Locke with Indian CEOs in Mumbai

Locke meets with Chairman Ambani of Reliance Industries and other Indian CEOs

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke returned to India’s business center today for the final stop of his high-technology trade mission to India – which he announced during President Obama’s trip last November. Locke is joined by a delegation of 24 U.S. businesses seeking to promote their technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and homeland security, and information and communications technology to India. Locke is the first Cabinet secretary to travel to India after President Obama’s visit.

At a speech he delivered to members of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Mumbai, Locke highlighted the U.S.-India commercial relationship and encouraged development of new business opportunities between the members of the delegation and their Indian counterparts. He also talked about the great progress India has made in opening its markets to U.S. companies but he noted that much more work needs to be done.

“If India continues its walk down ‘the path of reform,’ if it continues to become more open to the investments and the innovations of foreign companies – like the 24 companies I have with me this week – it will stand a much better chance of meeting the needs of its people and of helping to lead the global economy in the 21st century,” said Secretary Locke. “We've made important progress this week, not just to lay the groundwork for more sales of U.S. goods in India, but to take another real step towards strengthening the bonds between the governments, the businesses and the people of India and the United States.”

While in Mumbai, Locke also met with Indian CEOs, including Chairman Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, who are part of the U.S.-India CEO Forum as a follow up from their meeting during President Obama’s trip to India in November. Locke solicited the group’s goals for the 2011 forum and they discussed a wide range of critical issues, including clean energy, standards and education.

Trade Mission to India Brings Tangible Benefits to Kulite

Tonghuo Shang, Vice President, Technology Development and Asia Operations at Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc.

Guest blog post by Dr. Tonghuo Shang, Vice President, Technology Development and Asia Operations at Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc.

Ed Note: Kulite is the world leader in pressure transducer technology, serving several high technology industries such as Aerospace, Flight Test, Automotive, Motor Sports and Industrial Processes.

Today I just concluded my portion of the journey with the India High Tech Mission. While I regret that I won’t be traveling to Mumbai with fellow delegates, the fact that most Kulite customers are in the Bangalore area necessitates that I stay here and meet them individually. This trip is a memorable experience for me, in what Kulite has achieved, as well as in the friendships with other delegation members.

At the start of the mission Secretary Locke asked delegates to evaluate the mission, and to identify the factors that made it a success. I think the most important factor is the elevated profile that a government delegation brings. With Secretary Locke we were able to listen to several key Indian Ministers and hear their ambitious plans for India, and their upbeat economic outlook. The US Commercial Service, being a government entity, is also a valuable and effective resource. Case in point - on Tuesday, the delegation met with the General Managers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. After listening to their presentation I requested a follow-on meeting with one of the HAL divisions. The in-country staff located the contact point and developed a meeting plan within two hours!

This mission brings tangible benefits to Kulite. I am able to evaluate the market potential in a very short amount of time, and sees clear business growth in the next two years. I would like to thank the entire DoC team for their tireless effort putting this together. The seamless planning and personal attention to each company is remarkable. Trade missions like this are highly recommended, especially for small and mid-sized companies when resources are limited.

Good luck to my fellow delegates in Mumbai.

Secretary Locke Touts U.S.-India Trade, Opens U.S. Pavillion

Locke with students

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stressed the importance of innovation in the U.S.-India trade relationship today in Bangalore with remarks and a discussion with students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) before officially opening the U.S. Pavilion at Aero India 2011.  Bangalore is the second stop of his three-city high-technology business development trade mission with U.S companies to India.

During the discussion at IISc, Locke interacted with students, research scholars, and professors at one of India's premier educational institutions for science and research.  Locke discussed how India's efforts to build a more open commercial environment will help empower the next generation of Indian innovators to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems like climate change, poverty and disease.

"I'm optimistic and confident the world is equipped to deal with the challenges we face – and a big part of the reason is seeing young people like you," said Locke.  Because although these problems are daunting, they do have solutions.  Many of them can be solved with the science, math and engineering skills that are taught and learned at IISC every day."

The secretary added that unlocking the full potential of IISc students and researchers, and indeed the entire U.S.-India trade relationship, depended on India continuing to work towards "a regulatory infrastructure that encourages the freer flow of ideas, people, and technologies across its borders."