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Commerce's USPTO Co-Sponsored Collegiate Inventors Seeking Inventive Entries from Students

Harris Wang, Harvard Medical School; Arti Rai, USPTO Administrator for External Affairs; Stephen Diebold University of Illinois

The Invent Now Collegiate Inventors Competition, now in its 19th year, is inviting inventive students to enter its 2010 competition.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition is designed to recognize and honor student innovators at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  Since 1990, the Competition has honored numerous individuals and teams for their outstanding inventive contributions and innovative research.  This year, nearly $80,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winning undergraduate and graduate students and advisors at a special awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in the fall.    The Competition is sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Abbott Fund.

The deadline for entering this year’s Competition is June 25, 2010.   Entries are judged on originality of the idea, process or technology, and their potential value and usefulness to society.

Read more here.

Locke Launches Clean Energy Trade Mission in Hong Kong

 Secretary Locke answers questions at launch even for the Clean Energy Trade MissionOver the weekend, Secretary Locke arrived in Hong Kong and kicked off the first cabinet-level trade mission of the Obama administration.  The Clean Energy Mission, which will eventually make stops in Shanghai, Beijing, China and Jakarta, Indonesia is focused on promoting the export of technologies and services related to clean energy, energy efficiency and electric energy storage, transmission and distribution. 

Planned just months after the President announced his National Export Initiative, Locke will attempt to advance the president's goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years to support jobs.

In addition to meeting with government officials and businesses himself, Locke will also introduce the 24 U.S. business executives who are joining him on the China portion of the trip to potential Chinese partners who can help them in their efforts to win contracts for building wind turbines and other green technology projects.  As the Secretary mentioned in a speech following his arrival:

"The companies on this trade mission can help create economic opportunity and good jobs back in America, while helping Hong Kong and China grow their own economies and meet energy demand in a way that won’t put the planet and our entire way of life at risk... This trade mission is truly a win-win for American companies and their workers and for the people of Hong Kong and China."

During his first full day of the mission, in addition to a number of high-level meetings with government and business leaders, Locke visited the green Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, took a look at a number of innovations in green transportation, toured the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and signed an agreement that will make it easier for American vintners to export U.S. wines to Hong Kong and Asia.

Read more to see more pictures of today's events.

Statement from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Retail Sales in April 2010

Commerce's U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales for April 2010.  Retail sales increased 0.4 percent, following a large 2.1‑percent rise in March.  Sales of building materials and garden equipment and supplies jumped 6.9 percent following a similarly large gain in March.  Private-sector analysts had expected a small decline of 0.1 percent in total sales in April.

“The rising trend in retail sales indicates that consumer spending continues to grow, underlining increasing confidence in the recovery,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.  “The gains in consumer spending are yet another indication that the outlook for sustained economic growth is improving.”

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Secretary Locke Honors U.S. Companies with Highest Presidential Award for Exports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today presented 22 companies and organizations with the 2010 Presidential “E” Award and “E” Star Award for outstanding contributions to growing U.S. exports, strengthening the economy and creating American jobs. The Presidential “E” Awards are the highest U.S. government honor for increasing exports.

These are the first “E” and “E” Star Awards given out since President Obama announced the National Export Initiative, which aims to double American exports and support two million U.S. jobs by 2015.

Two recipients flanked by Locke and Under Secretary Sanchez

“Today we honor companies that are selling high-quality products and services in every corner of the world, and most importantly, helping to create good jobs for American workers,” Locke said. “This administration is focused on helping American businesses, like the ones honored today, take advantage of the worldwide economic recovery and sell more abroad.”

The Presidential “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing U.S. exports. The “E Star” Award, meanwhile, recognizes continued superior performance in increasing or promoting exports. (Remarks) (Release)

Secretary Locke Briefs Washington Foreign Press Center on Upcoming Trade Mission to China and Indonesia

Commerce sealU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke led a briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center on the Obama administration’s first Cabinet-level trade mission to China and Indonesia next week. The clean energy business development missions will promote exports of leading U.S. technologies related to clean energy, energy efficiency and electric energy storage, transmission and distribution. In his remarks, Locke said, “Here at home, every American should know that when a U.S. clean energy company finds success abroad, it creates more jobs in the United States." (Remarks)

Secretary's Statement on March U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis today released a report on March 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports in March 2010 increased by 3.2 percent to $147.9 billion from their February 2010 level. Imports in March increased 3.1 percent over February to $188.3 billion.

“The rise in imports shows increasing consumer confidence in America's economic recovery,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “It's heartening to see a corresponding increase in exports.

“This administration is focused on helping American businesses take advantage of the worldwide recovery underway, ramping up trade advocacy on all fronts – from providing credit to small businesses that want to export to increasing the number of trade experts who will help U.S. companies find buyers abroad to the continued rigorous enforcement of our trade laws.” (Full statement)

Senior Adviser Wade Meets with Business Leaders in Pennsylvania

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Wade touring manufacturing facilityRick Wade, senior adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, met with local businesses in Williamsport, Penn., today as part of a national tour taking him to Main Streets across America to hear from business leaders about the challenges they face and to take their ideas and concerns back to Washington. Wade participated in a roundtable discussion, a luncheon, and toured a local manufacturing facility.

Secretary Locke Holds Exports Town Hall with Northern Virginia Businesses

Image of ITA Exports reportU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited the Precision Auto Care international corporate headquarters training facility in Leesburg, Va., to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and how it can help U.S. companies of all sizes sell more of their goods and services overseas and support the creation of American jobs. Locke was joined by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf. The NEI aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years while supporting two million American jobs.

Secretaries Locke and Donovan Tour Nashville, Memphis Flood-Damaged Areas

Locke with residentsAt the request of President Barack Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan toured areas affected by the recent flooding in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., today. The secretaries assessed the damage, talked to residents and discussed long-term recovery plans with local elected officials and community leaders. The secretaries toured the impacted areas and held brief press availabilities in each city.