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Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Commerce's Economic Development Administration Launches Interactive Web Site

Satellite image of Florida

The Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development has launched an interactive Web site to encourage public comment on ways to promote economic growth and sustainability in the Space Coast region as it adapts to changes in America’s space program. The site offers valuable information about the work the Obama administration is doing to create jobs in the region by fostering a more supportive entrepreneurial environment.  Full release   Secretary Locke visit to Space Coast blog

Commerce's NIST Team Advances in Translating 'Language' of Nanopores

Image of nanopresScientists from Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have moved a step closer to developing the means for a rapid diagnostic blood test that can scan for thousands of disease markers and other chemical indicators of health. The team reports it has learned how to decode the electrical signals generated by a nanopore—a "gate" less than two nanometers wide in an artificial cell membrane. 

Nanopores are not new themselves; for more than a decade, scientists have sought to use a nanopore-based electrical detector to characterize single-stranded DNA for genetic sequencing applications. More recently, NIST scientists turned their attention to using nanopores to identify, quantify and characterize each of the more than 20,000 proteins the body produces—a capability that would provide a snapshot of a patient's overall health at a given moment. But while nanopores permit molecules to enter into them one at a time, determining what specific individual molecule has just passed through has not been easy.  Read more here

Secretary Locke Joins Vice President Biden for Intellectual Property Enforcement Strategy Event

Photo of officials at White House meeting.U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials today at the White House to introduce the U.S. Government’s intellectual property enforcement strategy. Participants included U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk and U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel. In her White House Blog, Espinel wrote,

“I am pleased to announce that today we unveiled the administration’s first Joint Strategic Plan to combat intellectual property theft.  The U.S. economy leads the world in innovation and creativity thanks to American inventors, artists and workers.  Our ability to develop new technology, designs and artistic works supports jobs and allows us to export great new products and services around the world. Our citizens need to feel confident that they can invest in new innovation and intellectual property, knowing it will be safe from theft.  Ensuring that our ideas and ingenuity are protected helps us create jobs and increase our exports.”

Intellectual property refers to the ideas behind inventions, the artistry that goes into books and music, and the logos of companies whose brands we have come to trust that must be protected. Intellectual property represents the hard work, creativity, resourcefulness, investment and ingenuity of the American public.  White House Intellectual Property Website   White House video

Commerce's Carribean Trade Mission Yields Positive Results for U.S. Firms

Dominican Republic and Jamaica offer small- and medium-sized companies opportunity

Wrapping up the administration’s first trade mission to the Caribbean, Commerce Department senior adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade stressed that geographical proximity and shared historical and cultural ties make the Dominican Republic and Jamaica prime destinations for U.S. goods and services. Wade led a 10-company U.S. trade mission to the region to promote export opportunities June 13-19.

“In today’s global marketplace, it is critical for companies to establish alliances with partners in other markets in order to be competitive,” Wade said. “Because of its close proximity and a favorable trading relationship over time, the Caribbean is a natural area for U.S. firms to explore new export opportunities that will result in more jobs for American workers.”

The United States is the primary trading partner for both countries. In 2009, U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica totaled $5.27 billion and $1.45 billion, respectively.  Read more  Upcoming trade missions

Secretary Locke, Cabinet and Government Officials Participate in President's National Conversation on Fatherhood Panel

Image of YoutTuve video-click for videoU.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke joined a panel discussion on President Barack Obama's National Conversation on Fatherhood today in Washington. The conversation is intended to address the challenge of father absence in many communities by encouraging personal responsibility among dads across the country and assessing how we can all work together–individuals, community and faith-based organizations, and the government–to strengthen families and support father involvement. Following the panel discussion, President Obama concluded the first year of this National Conversation with a speech at a community organization in Washington, D.C.   Obama remarks   Obama YouTube video   Fatherhood.gov   En español

Secretary Locke Announces $10.27 Million in Grants to Gulf Coast Region

Grants to aid economic recovery for communities impacted by BP oil spill

Following his second visit to the Gulf Coast to talk with local businesses impacted by the BP oil spill, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today eight grants for the Gulf region totaling $10.27 million – most for economic development planning and coastal management.

Locke heard firsthand from affected businesses last week when he traveled to Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, La.

“People’s livelihoods across the Gulf are at risk,” Locke said. “From day one, the Obama administration has been committed to containing the damage from the BP oil spill and extending to the people of the Gulf the help they need to confront this ordeal. These grants are one more aspect of the administration-wide commitment to doing whatever it takes to help folks deal with the unexpected challenges brought on by this environmental disaster.”

Three grants will be administered through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and five other grants will be administered through Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA).  Read more

Secretary Locke Discusses Clean Energy Technologies at Energy Efficiency Forum

Secretary Locke on podium in front of audienceU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the keynote address, "Connections between Energy Efficiency and the Economy” at the 21st annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington today. In his remarks, Locke said,

"Investments in emerging technologies like solar, wind and advanced batteries are vital to this nation's future, and the Obama administration is making unprecedented investments to help them grow. . . .  The president has already made $80 billion in clean energy investments through the Recovery Act – with a good portion going to the type of basic R&D that is often too risky or too expensive for private sector investors."

The 2010 Energy Efficiency Forum, sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, brings together leading energy experts, policy makers, business executives, and top administration officials to discuss the critical role that energy efficiency in buildings, vehicles and industry plays as the foundation for international agreements, national strategies and local actions.  Remarks

Secretary Locke Addresses 78th Annual Meeting of U.S. Conference of Mayors

Image of conference video clip with president of mayor conference and LockeU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Oklahoma City for the 78th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors held at the Cox Convention Center. Locke addressed the crowd on the final day of the conference, and Commerce’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John Fernandez and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves spoke over the weekend. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Each city is represented at the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

On Sunday, a special session highlighted the conference with mayors from Gulf Coast cities dealing with the BP oil spill and its devastating after-effects. During the session, mayors discussed a resolution put forth by the mayors of Baton Rouge, La., and Tallahassee, Fla., that calls for increased federal efforts to access, mitigate and recover from the environmental and economic damage of the disaster and work closely with other local officials in all phases of the national response. Locke visited the Gulf Coast region last Thursday and spoke with local businesses that have been impacted economically by the oil spill. Remarks  Secretary's Conference video

Gainesville Region Receives Additional EDA Grant, University of Florida Breaks Ground for New Tech Business Incubator

Officials with shovels at groundbreaking ceremonyU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1.670 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Santa Fe College and the District Board of Trustees of Santa Fe College of Gainesville, Florida to build a biotechnology laboratory and classroom addition to the new Emerging Technologies Center. The project is expected to create 270 jobs and generate $380 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.  More from Santa Fe College

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez participated also in the groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub in Gainesville, Fla.  The project received $8.2 million in funding from Commerce's EDA last year to help build the tech business incubator, which will serve as a catalyst for emerging and existing start-up companies seeking to bring to market technologies developed by the university and its research partners.  The project is expected to create 300 jobs and generate $30 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

 

NOAA Launches Website With Online Mapping Tool to Track Gulf Response

Image of mapping tool

The dynamic nature of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill has been a challenge for a range of communities--from hotel operators to fishermen to local community leaders. And the American people have questions about the response to this crisis.

Today, Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launches a new federal Web site meant to answer those questions with clarity and transparency--a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The Web site incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill.

Originally designed for responders, who make operational decisions, to the oil spill disaster, http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse integrates the latest data on the oil spill’s trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and place-based Gulf Coast resources--such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and daily position of research ships--into one customizable interactive map.

Image of Deep Drill 3 platformThe launch of the public site is designed to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users--from federal, state and local responders to local community leaders and the public--the site is designed to be fast, user-friendly and constantly updated.

Beyond NOAA data, the site includes data from Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, the Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, NASA , U.S. Geological Survey and the Gulf states . Agencies contribute data through the response data sharing mechanism within the command posts. This includes posting geospatial data on a common server, allowing access and use for multiple spatial platforms.

“This Web site provides users with an expansive, yet detailed geographic picture of what’s going on with the spill; Gulf Coast fisherman, recreational boaters, beach users and birders will be able to become more informed,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “It’s a common operational picture that allows the American people to see how their government is responding to the crisis.”

Developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center, the site is a Web-based GIS platform designed specifically for response activities where it is necessary to coordinate with various federal, state and local agencies. The site will serve as the official federal source for map-based data.  Interactive Map   Deepwater Horizon update

http://gomex.erma.noaa.gov/