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Locke Meets With Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy and China's Minister of Science and Technology at the Commerce Department

 

Locke and ChoiU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with Korea’s Minister of Knowledge Economy (MKE) Kyunghwan Choi and China’s Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Wan Gang today in separate meetings at the Commerce Department. 

This was the first meeting between Locke and Choi and the first meeting of the Commerce-MKE Committee on Commercial Cooperation, a committee created through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the U.S. and Korea in June 2009.  Locke and Choi confirmed the importance of further strengthening U.S.-Korea commercial relations and working together on trade and investment issues. The pair also expressed support for removing barriers to trade and finding a way forward on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). Following their meeting, Locke and Choi each spoke at the opening session of the Committee, which then held working-level subcommittee break out meetings.

Later in the afternoon, Locke met with China’s Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang. Locke and Wan have previously met twice in China. Wan is in Washington, D.C. for the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial – which Locke spoke at today – hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Wan has served as MOST since April 2007.  Read more

Secretary Locke Stresses Need for a Clean Energy Economy at First-Ever Clean Energy Ministerial Public Forum

Secretary Locke on podiumU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed ministers, CEOs and clean energy leaders today at the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial Public Forum held at the Ronald Reagan Building. Hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the two-day ministerial brought together government leaders and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs aimed at accelerating the world's transition to clean energy technologies. The meeting grows out of a Global Partnership launched by the leaders of the Major Economies Forum.

In his remarks, Locke highlighted Department of Commerce clean energy initiatives including the development of a first-ever National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Strategy, a new green patents program, and his recent clean energy trade mission to China and Indonesia.

The countries that participated in the ministerial represent 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 80 percent of global gross domestic product, and 80 percent of the global market for clean energy technologies.  Remarks

USPTO Hosts "Three-Track" Roundtable in Alexandria

Participants at roundtable discussionCommerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held a public roundtable discussion today on a new proposed patent examination initiative called the “Enhanced Examination Timing Control Initiative,” or “Three-Track” for short, which is currently under consideration by the USPTO. The meeting was held at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Va. 

The proposed initiative would eliminate the “one-size-fits-all” approach the USPTO has traditionally taken to patent examination, provide applicants greater control over the speed with which their applications are examined and promote greater efficiency in the patent examination process. 

More information about the initiative can be found here at http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2010/10_24.jsp.

Secretary Locke Co-Chairs U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum in Denver

Secretary Locke and Minister Miguel JorgeU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman co-chaired the fifth U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum today in Denver. Joining Locke and Froman as co-chairs was Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge.  This is the first time the U.S. has hosted the meeting outside of Washington, D.C. 

The U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum discussed critical business issues, including the negotiation of a bilateral tax treaty, customs facilitation and express reform, and energy and infrastructure. The Forum’s recommendations have advanced discussions between the United States and Brazil governments on other important issues such as visas, customs procedures, education and infrastructure reforms. Established in 2007, the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum is made up of 20 CEOs from the U.S. and Brazil, and meets twice a year to make recommendations to the two governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship.

CEO Forum meetings were held at the U.S. Department of Energy's Research Support Facility – the nation's largest net-zero energy building designed to showcase energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies – located on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) campus.  Locke and Froman also toured the Science and Technology Facility on the NREL campus, highlighting the role of public-private partnership in research and development and NREL’s collaboration with Brazilian government and industry.

Following the Forum, the group participated in an event hosted by the 2010 Biennial of the Americas – an international event celebrating the culture, ideas and people of the Western Hemisphere. Throughout the month of July, Denver is welcoming national and international visitors for a cross-cultural experience bridging and unifying the artistic, intellectual and political progress of the hemisphere's 35 nations.  

Remarks

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