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The Commerce Blog

Commerce Department Hosts Event to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act

In observance of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted an event today at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in partnership with the White House and the Federal Communications Commission.  At the event, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment grant to Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. for a project that will expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The event also included a technology showcase highlighting technologies developed to empower the daily lives of Americans with disabilities, the launch of the FCC’s new Accessibility and Innovation Forum, a video presentation chronicling personal histories of those with disabilities who have been impacted by technology and a performance by Gallaudet University students. Both the showcase and program were free and open to the public.  Read more  |  Related NTIA release

 

Secretary Locke Hosts Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House today with Senior Advisor to the Treasury Secretary Ron Bloom and other top administration officials, community leaders, clean energy investors and innovators. Administration officials participated in a constructive dialogue with attendees on opportunities to advance the development and commercialization of new clean energy technologies and strategies to support the creation and growth of emerging clean energy industries and enterprises.  The group also discussed efforts to promote exports through President Obama’s National Export Initiative that will help America transition to a clean energy economy and enhance our competitiveness. 

Today’s event builds on a series of university innovation forums focused on technology commercialization that Locke participated in this week, highlighting the Commerce Department and the administration’s focus on research, innovation and a culture of entrepreneurship.  Remarks

Secretary Locke Wraps Up Series of Innovation Forums with Visit to Georgia Tech

Secretary Locke on podium.U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta today for the final of four regional innovation forums held at universities across the country. Since late June, the department’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Economic Development Administration has hosted forums at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan and now Georgia Tech. Each forum has engaged university leaders and key stakeholders in a discussion about how the Obama administration can help move ideas from the lab to the marketplace, building upon a national dialogue Locke began in February.

“America is not lacking for groundbreaking ideas. Nor are we short on entrepreneurs willing to take risks,” Locke said. “What we need to do is get better at connecting the great ideas to the great company builders.

“Here in Atlanta, you set a very high standard for how universities and the private sector can work with federal research dollars to create businesses and jobs right here in Georgia. Our goal is to make this high level of performance in technology commercialization the standard nationwide.”

Locke with plant employeesFollowing today’s innovation forum, Locke visited Suniva, a Georgia-based manufacturer that is advancing ways to make solar photovoltaic technology more cost-effective. The company’s affiliation with the Georgia Institute of Technology is an example of how public-private partnerships can help create and commercialize important new technologies. Read more  |  Remarks

Secretary Locke Announces Members of National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Michigan Innovation Forum

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the members of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship during an innovation forum at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Locke hosted the event along with the Commerce Department’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Economic Development Administration.

The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship will support President Obama's innovation strategy by helping to develop policies that foster entrepreneurship and identifying new ways to take great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to drive economic growth and create jobs. Members of the council include serial entrepreneurs, university presidents, investors and non-profit leaders.

“I want to extend my gratitude to the leaders selected to The National Advisory Council. Their work will be a key component of America’s economic recovery,” Locke said.

Participants at the forum discussed the role of universities in innovation, economic development, job creation and commercialization of federally funded research.

Earlier this year, Locke kicked off a national dialogue on these issues at a forum on “Catalyzing University Research for a Stronger Economy” with university leaders and key stakeholders in Washington, D.C. The Ann Arbor forum is the third of four in a series of regional innovation forums hosted by Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with previous forums held at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Southern California. The final upcoming forum will be held at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Release

Commerce Secretary Locke, Postmaster General Potter Launch New Initiative to Boost U.S. Exports

Locke and Potter shaking handsResponding to President Obama’s call to double exports in the next five years, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Postmaster General John Potter announced the launch of a new initiative between the Commerce Department and the United States Postal Service (USPS) that will help boost U.S. exports. The New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI) will identify current USPS customers who are exporting their goods and services abroad, and help expand their reach to additional international markets. The announcement expands a strategic partnership formed in 2008 between the two entities.   Read more

Commerce's NOAA: U.S. Had Eighth-Warmest June on Record, Above-Normal Precipation

Map of U.S. showing June temperaturesNOAA’s State of the Climate report shows the June 2010 average temperature for the contiguous United States was 71.4 degrees F, which is 2.2 degrees F above the long-term average (1901-2000). The average precipitation for June was 3.33 inches, 0.44 inch above the long-term average.   This monthly analysis was prepared by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., based on records dating back to 1895.  More  |  June temperatures  |  June precipitation

Senior Commerce Official Visits with Syracuse Businesses on Next Stop of National Main Street Business Tour

Photo of Maffei and Wade holding framed certificateRick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, was in Syracuse, N.Y., today for the third stop on his National Main Street Business Tour that is taking him across the country to meet with business leaders and hear directly from them about the challenges they’re facing, taking their concerns and ideas back to Washington.  

In Syracuse, Wade and U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei met with local business owners for a roundtable discussion followed by a tour of New York-based Defenshield, a veteran-owned manufacturer of custom armor and transparent armor solutions. Wade also presented the company with an Export Achievement Award, which recognizes small- and medium-sized enterprises that have successfully entered the international marketplace.

 

Secretary Locke, Mass. Officials Announce $45.4 Million Recovery Act Investment for Broadband Expansion

Locke and officials meet media. Photo: Holland Hinman/Governor's OfficeU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, joined by Senator John Kerry, Governor Deval Patrick and Representatives John Olver and Richard Neal, today announced a $45.4 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) investment to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare in Massachusetts.

The grant to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (Mass Broadband 123) will bring high-speed Internet access to western Massachusetts and connect the region to the rest of the state’s digital economy. Last week, President Barack Obama announced $794 million in new projects that will expand broadband access and adoption across America, including the grant to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.  Read more

Secretary Locke Statement on the Death of Former Commerce Secretary Juanita M. Kreps

Former Secretary Juanita M. KrepsOn Monday, July 5, the Commerce Department lost a member of its extended family with the passing of former Secretary Juanita M. Kreps. After growing up in a Kentucky coal-mining town, she went on to a distinguished career as a professor, author and public servant. When President Carter appointed her Commerce Secretary, Kreps became the first woman to serve in the position and just the fourth female Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Her leadership under difficult economic conditions and her intelligence and devotion to family are remembered by many. I extend my sincere condolences to her family.

Dr. Kreps was the first woman and the only economist to serve as secretary; she was vice president of Duke University and a labor demographics specialist.  She served as Secretary of Commerce from January 23, 1977 - October 31, 1979.

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama to Announce Members of the President’s Export Council, Provide Progress Report on National Export Initiative

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama and Jim McNerney – chairman, president & CEO of The Boeing Company and chair of the President’s Export Council - today at the White House to announce members of the President’s Export Council. During his speech, the president provided a progress report on the National Export Initiative (NEI), which shows that the president’s goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years is on track, and that exports in the first four months of 2010 grew almost 17 percent from the same period last year. While introducing the president, Locke said that

“we must reinvest in innovation and do a better job of connecting U.S. companies with the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. That’s where the National Export Initiative comes in. It’s an unprecedented government-wide effort to help double American exports by 2015, and it was designed with one overriding goal in mind: To put Americans back to work in jobs that provide security, dignity and a sense of hope for the future.”  

The president also announced new members of the President’s Export Council (PEC), a group that includes business and labor leaders who offer advice and expertise on how best to promote exports, congressional leaders and senior representatives of the administration.  President’s remarks  |  White House blog