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The Commerce Blog

Locke to Lead U.S. Delegation to Chile for the Americas Competitiveness Forum

ACF logo. Click to visit ACF Web site)

U.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Santiago, Chile, September 27-29, to participate in the third Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). The ACF brings together representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to spark innovation, create jobs and expand trade among the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. Department of Commerce hosted the first two ACFs in Atlanta in 2007 and 2008. Secretary Locke will be joined by the Presidents of Chile and Guatemala, as well as ministers of trade and economy from throughout the region and senior representatives from business and academia. (More) (ACF Web site)

Secretary Locke Announces New Commerce Initiatives to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced his plans to create a new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the Department of Commerce and launch a National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both substantial new initiatives will help leverage the entire federal government on behalf of promoting entrepreneurship in America. The new office is expected to announce additional initiatives in the coming months. (More)

Secretary Locke Stresses Importance of Comprehensive Energy Plan for American Business

Image of Locke on podium with large-screen image to the left. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at the National Energy Summit & International Dialogue to address the sustainable energy industry and convey the importance of the industry to the creation of new, good-paying jobs. Locke stressed that a comprehensive energy plan is central for American innovation and manufacturing, offering an opportunity for American business. The National Energy Summit, put on by the Council on Competitiveness, is a coalition of sectors with more than 350 leaders, including CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and other luminaries from across the U.S. and around the world.

Secretary Locke Unveils Plan for "Smart Grid" Interoperability

NASA Satellite Photo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled an accelerated plan for developing standards to transform the U.S. power distribution system into a secure, more efficient and environmentally-friendly “Smart Grid” and create clean-energy jobs. Produced by Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the document identifies approximately 80 initial standards that will enable the vast number of interconnected devices and systems that will make up the nationwide “Smart Grid” to communicate and work with each other. The draft report, the first phase of NIST’s three-phase approach to develop Smart Grid standards, will be available for public comment and review for 30 days. (More) (Report) (Remarks)

Therapeutic Nanoparticles Offer Potential as Cancer-Killers

NIST logo. Click for image: An iron-centered nanoparticle (left) has a coating of the sugar dextran, whose tendrils prevent groups of the particles from clumping. When tumor cells ingest them (right), the particles still congregate closely enough to share heat when stimulated by a magnetic field, killing the cells. White arrow indicates a red blood cell.

A research team at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) studying sugar-coated nanoparticles for use as a possible cancer therapy, has uncovered a delicate balancing act that makes the particles more effective than conventional thinking says they should be. In cooperation with The Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, the University of Manitoba and two biopharmaceutical companies, the NIST team has demonstrated that the particles are potent cancer-killers because they interact with one another in ways that smaller nanoparticles do not. Click on NIST logo above for image and description or here. (More)

Secretary Locke Announces Nearly $60 Million in New ARRA Funding to Create Jobs, Boost Development in 18 States

EDA logo.

Since Sept. 14, Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has invested nearly $60 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for job creation and boosting economic development in 18 states. “The Obama administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s economic competitiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said, in making the announcements. (Releases) (EDA Recovery Web site)

Commerce Secretary Locke Meets with Defense Secretary Gates on Export Controls and Business Visa Reform

Secretaries Locke and Gates talking while seated at desk. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Their meeting centered on export controls and business visa reform and the importance of considering improvements to these systems that will make United States exporters more competitive, leading to more U.S. jobs and economic growth. Locke and Gates met for an hour and agreed to continue to work together with their counterparts at other cabinet agencies toward these important reforms. The secretaries plan to meet again in the next few weeks with fellow administration officials to address their progress. (More)

USPTO Annual Independent Inventors Conference Set for November 5-6

Photo of USPTO headquarters at Alexandria campus

The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters will be the site of the 14th annual Independent Inventors Conference on Nov. 5-6. The two-day event will include a pre-conference for first-time attendees on the evening of Nov. 4. The USPTO’s new director, David Kappos, will deliver the keynote address on Nov. 5. The conference will provide information about patents, trademarks and intellectual property protection. Experts from the USPTO will conduct breakout sessions and be available for one-on-one meetings. (More)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama in Announcing National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke today joined President Barack Obama in announcing and congratulating the 2008 winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for technological and scientific achievement. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by Congress in 1980 and has been presented by the President of the United States since 1985. President Obama will present the medals at a White House ceremony on October 7. (More) (White House Press Release)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama for Health Insurance Reform Rally in Maryland

Screen capture image of White House video showing Obama with students and faculty behind him.

Image courtesy White House Web site video

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama at the University of Maryland for a rally on health insurance reform. Locke described how health insurance reform will impact American businesses, the economy, and ultimately the job market students will enter after graduation. President Obama discussed what’s at stake for the American people in this debate, why we need health insurance reform and why we need to act now. The president’s plan has two goals: to bring stability and security to Americans who have insurance today, and affordable coverage to those who don’t. (More event coverage) (Presidential remarks)