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The Commerce Blog

Vilsack, Copps and Wade to Kick Off the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Broadband Initiative

Recovery.gov logo. Click to go to Recover.gov Web site.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Acting Chairman Michael Copps and U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff Rick Wade will announce the kickoff March 10 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’s (ARRA) broadband initiative. Vilsack, Copps and Wade will discuss the implementation of the broadband initiatives funded by the ARRA, initiatives critical for building a 21st century information infrastructure and creating jobs in communities across the country. (More)

Minority Business Development Agency Marks 40 Years Promoting Competitive Business Growth

MBDA logo.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is celebrating four decades ofpromoting the establishment and growth of minority businesses. Throughout the year, the MBDA will be highlighting businesses that benefited from its programs and the people and communities it has impacted. MBDA’s Minority Business Blog (www.mbda.gov/blog) which launched in conjunction with the 40th anniversary will tell success stories of minority businesses, offer tips and business solutions for minority entrepreneurs, as well as communicate up-to-date information affecting the minority business community. (More) (Blog)

Commerce's NTIA Begins to Clear TV Converter Box Coupon Request Waiting List

TV Converter Box Coupon Program logo. Click for DTV2009 Web site.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Communications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the agency has begun to clear its waiting list for requests to the TV Converter Box Coupon Program as a result of additional funds provided by Congress. “NTIA expects to eliminate the current waiting list within two to three weeks,” said Acting NTIA Administrator Anna Gomez. “This is good news for the more than two million households on the waiting list…” she said. (More)

New Deep-Sea Coral Discovered on NOAA-Supported Mission

Image of orange bamboo coral is another new species and new genus found in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. It is between four and five feet tall, and was found 5,745 feet below the surface. Click for larger image.

Scientists identified seven new species of bamboo coral discovered on a NOAA-funded mission in the deep waters of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Six of these species may represent entirely new genera, a remarkable feat given the broad classification a genus represents. A genus is a major category in the classification of organisms, ranking above a species and below a family. Scientists expect to identify more new species as analysis of samples continues. (More)

Economic Development Administration Excellence Awards 2009

Economic Development Administration seal.

Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Excellence in Economic Development Awards 2009 recognize innovative economic development projects or strategies of national significance. The awards are designed to showcase best practices and highlight outstanding results. EDA is currently accepting entries for Excellence in Economic Development Awards 2009. The awards are commemorative and will be presented by senior officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce in ceremonies in the winners’ respective communities. Members of the winners’ congressional delegations will be invited to join in the award presentation. (More)

Commerce Department Receives $7.9 Billion in Recovery Act Funding Essential to U.S. Job Creation and Economic Growth

Department of Commerce seal.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will receive $7.9 billion to create and save jobs for American workers as part of the historic economic stimulus bill recently signed by President Barack Obama.“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history,” said President Obama, noting it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. “We have begun the essential work of keeping the American Dream alive in our time.” (More) (Commerce ARRA 2009 Webpage)

NIST: Updated Recommendations for Protecting Wireless, Remote Access Data

NIST logo.

Telecommuting has freed many to work far from the confines of the office via laptop, but the price of working while sipping a latte at that sunny café is the danger that a public network will not keep the data that passes through it safe. Now, to combat the risk inherent in remote access, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated its guide on maintaining data security while teleworking. The revised guide offers advice for protecting the wide variety of private and mobile devices from threats that have appeared since the first edition appeared in August 2002. (More)

USPTO Seeks Nominees for National Medal of Technology and Innovation Award

Image of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the highest honor for technological achievement, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The USPTO administers the NMTI program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. Honorees are chosen for their outstanding contributions to the nation’s economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technological products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the country’s technological manpower. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by Congress in 1980. (More)

Commerce's NTIA Applauds Congress for Additional Funding to Eliminate Coupon Waiting List

TV Converter Box Coupon Program Logo. Click to go to DTV Converter Box Program Web site.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today applauded Congress for additional funding that will allow NTIA to quickly issue TV converter box coupons to all households currently on the waiting list and to start mailing coupons via first class mail. "This additional funding will help keep more Americans connected to free, over-the-air television broadcasts," said Acting NTIA Administrator Anna Gomez. "We expect to clear out the coupon waiting list expeditiously and get coupons into the hands of the American people.” (More)

BEA Sets Benchmark Highs in Organizational Assessment Survey

BEA logo.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked highest among all federal agencies participating in the 2008 Organizational Assessment Survey, conducted by the Office of Personal Management. BEA achieved the highest scores ever recorded on the survey in six key areas, including leadership and quality, innovation, and performance measures. Among the 23 agencies involved in the latest survey of organizational climate, BEA scored above the median in all areas. BEA produces some of the world’s most closely-watched economic statistics, including U.S. Gross Domestic Product. (Organizational Assessment Survey). (Summary Sheet)