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Blog Entries from November 2010

Commerce Department’s Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission Kicks off in France

Community and Business Delegates of the EDA/ITA Clean Technology Trade and Investment Mission in Lyon, France, with U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan.The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Commercial Service kicked off its Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission in Lyon, France, on Monday at Pollutec, a tradeshow that features the world's leading international exhibit for the environment and sustainable development markets. 

The Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission brings together a mix of U.S. community delegates and businesses to explore overseas opportunities to increase U.S. exports and attract foreign direct investment to the United States, with a focus on advancing the green economy and creating jobs at home. The week-long trip will conclude in Brussels, Belgium, where the delegation will attend a U.S. Embassy reception, NATO cleantech roundtable, and other networking opportunities.

The mission supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to help U.S. firms sell their goods and services abroad with a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs.

Click here to read the press release.

2010 Baldrige Award Winners Include 3 Small Businesses and 7 Total Organizations

Secretary Locke announced the recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award today – the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 83 applicants and rigorously evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results.

This year’s awards mark the first time that three small businesses have been selected at one time and only the second instance in the award’s 23-year history that a total of seven organizations are being honored. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., next year.

The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients – listed with their category – are:

  • MEDRAD, Warrendale, Pa. (manufacturing)
  • Nestle Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, Mo. (manufacturing)
  • Freese and Nichols Inc., Fort Worth, Texas (small business)
  • K&N Management, Austin, Texas (small business)
  • Studer Group, Gulf Breeze, Fla. (small business)
  • Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Ill. (health care)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Md. (education)

Read the press release and learn more about the Baldrige Award.

Secretary Locke Meets with Indonesian Ambassador to Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Secretary Gary Locke and the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, shaking handsU.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, to discuss U.S.-Indonesia commercial relations.  The meeting follows up on the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership formalized during President Obama’s visit to Indonesia on November 9-10, as well as the clean energy trade mission led by Secretary Locke in May, 2010.

During the meeting, Locke reinforced the U.S. commitment to building better commercial relations with Indonesia.  Locke and Ambassador Djalal discussed ways to make Indonesia a more appealing destination for U.S. investments and underscored Indonesia’s importance in helping President Obama reach the National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, supporting 2 million American jobs.  Indonesia—the third-fastest growing economy among G-20 nations in 2009—was selected as one of six target foreign markets in support of the NEI, where the U.S. government will help American businesses export in six sectors: infrastructure, education, food and agriculture, health, defense, and creative industries.

By assuming the leadership position as the incoming chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia will be an important regional partner for the United States.  As the world’s third-most-populous democracy and the largest Muslim majority democracy, Indonesia also plays a pivotal role in ensuring security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.   A meaningful and productive relationship with Indonesia is critical to advancing U.S. economic, diplomatic and security interests, and Secretary Locke and the Commerce Department will continue to play an active role in engaging Indonesia through future meetings and trade missions.

Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2010

Image of cornucopeiaIn the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.  Facts and more for Thanksgiving Day

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Web Chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

This afternoon, Secretary Locke participated in a live, online web chat hosted by the White House as part of its “Open for Questions” series to help commemorate National Entrepreneurship Week. Questions were submitted through the Fast Company website and the White House blog, and discussion focused on the administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship.

Watch this video and many others on the White House video page.

September Marks the Fifth Consecutive Month of Double-Digit Travel and Tourism Export Growth

Graph of Change in U..S. Travel and Tourism-Related ExportsInternational travelers spent nearly $12 billion in the U.S. in September

According to newly released data from the Commerce Department, international visitors traveling to the United States pumped an estimated $11.7 billion into the U.S. economy during the month of September, up $1.7 billion compared to the same period last year.  This marks the fifth month of double-digit growth and ninth straight month of overall growth in U.S. travel and tourism exports.  Total travel and tourism-related exports have increased, on average, $1.2 billion a month in 2010. 

“Travel and tourism continues to be one of the bright spots in our economy,” Locke said.  “Continued growth in the tourism sector will help us achieve our goal of doubling exports over the next two years.” 

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $9.0 billion during September, an increase of 15 percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. 
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased by nearly 27 percent to $2.7 billion for the month, an increase of $575 million when compared to September 2009.

International visitors have spent an estimated $100 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through September), an increase of 11 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Americans have spent nearly $77.4 billion abroad year-to-date (up four percent)—resulting in a $22.6 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the first nine months of 2010.

Secretary Locke Delivers Remarks at Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Annual Business and Leadership Conference

Secretary Locke receives recognition from the LGBT Chamber for his work

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners and entrepreneurs today at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 7th Annual National Business and Leadership Conference. Locke emphasized the strong partnership between the Obama administration and the NGLCC to advance issues important to the LGBT community, and highlighted a Memorandum of Understanding that he will sign to deepen the relationship between the Department of Commerce and the Chamber and expand opportunities for all LGBT businesses.

Locke also discussed the administration’s efforts to create jobs and promote economic growth by fostering innovation and boosting exports through President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs. 

The three-day conference, “Out for Business!” includes business symposiums, keynote speakers, panel discussions and various special events that work to connect local and national LGBT businesses with NGLCC's corporate partners to expand opportunities for growth. The NGLCC is the business advocate and direct link between LGBT business owners, corporations and government. It represents the interests of more than 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses, partners with 125 corporations, and is the umbrella organization for 61 state, local and international LGBT chambers of commerce and businesses.  Remarks

Census Bureau Introduces New Economic Indicators Search Tool

The Department of Commerce's Census Bureau has introduced a new, user-friendly Internet tool that takes all the guesswork out of finding, downloading and using data from economic indicators. For the first time, users can access data from multiple indicators in one place and all in the same format. This tool provides an easy way to create data tables in ASCII text or time series charts in your favorite spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose data by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus. Of the Census Bureau's 12 economic indicators, four are operational in the new tool now -- international trade, manufactures' shipments, monthly wholesale trade and quarterly services; the remainder are expected to be available in this database throughout the course of 2011.

President Obama to Honor Recipients of the 2009 National Medal of Science & National Medal of Technology and Innovation

UPDATED: Below is the archived video of the event.

President Barack Obama will honor the 2009 recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in an awards ceremony in the White House’s East Room today at 5:30p.m. EST.

The ceremony will be carried live by webcast on the White House website at: You can also follow live-updates on USPTO’s new Twitter account – @USPTO.

“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” President Obama said.  “Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions.”

Secretary Locke Wraps up Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta

Locke announces 2011 Forum in the Dominican Republic

ACF leaders with Secretary Locke for group photoU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke concluded the Fourth Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) in Atlanta today, wrapping up two days of discussions with public and private sector leaders from 34 Western Hemisphere nations. The Forum was concluded with the announcement that the Fifth Annual ACF will be held in the Dominican Republic in October 2011.

"As our economy continues to grow, events like the ACF provide excellent opportunities for the business community to showcase new ideas and technologies, explore new markets, and uncover future opportunities for economic growth and job creation," Locke said. “We hope that the hundreds of public and private sector leaders here will leave with new ideas to foster programs, policies, and partnerships that will improve the economic prosperity of our individual countries and ensure a brighter future for all the people of the region.”

This year’s ACF brought together business leaders and policy makers from 34 Western Hemisphere nations to share best practices for enhancing the competitiveness, innovation, and prosperity of the region. Full release

U.S. Companies Invited to Apply to Join Secretary Locke on Upcoming High-Tech Trade Mission to India

India Trade Mission Graphic

UPDATED: The application deadline for the India Trade Mission has been extended to Friday, December 3, 2010.

Earlier this month in Mumbai, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that he will lead a high-technology trade mission to India next February. The India High Technology Business Development Mission is focused on U.S. companies that offer products or services in the civil nuclear, defense and security, civil aviation, and information communications technology industries and are looking to either expand their current business in India or are interested in entering the market for the first time. 

If you’re interested in participating in the upcoming trade mission, time is running out to apply. If your company meets the participation requirements, complete a mission application by Nov. 30 to join Secretary Locke in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai this February.  Submitted applications will be reviewed by industry and market experts, and final participants will be selected from the most qualified candidates.  Application status notifications will be sent out Dec. 13.

This business development mission will give U.S. companies access to market information and high-level business and government contacts, helping them to solidify international business strategies and advance their projects.  They will meet with prescreened potential business partners, agents, distributors, representatives and licensees, as well as high-level national and local government officials. The agenda will also include networking opportunities, country briefings and seminars.

Learn more about the India High Technology Business Development Mission on the India Mission 2011 homepage or by contacting the Office of Business Liaison at IndiaMission2011[at]doc[dot]gov or 202-482.1360.

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Quarterly Update

DoC Energy and Environment Quarterly Newsletter imageThis summer, the U.S. Commerce Department published its first-ever Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), a 48-page roadmap for reducing the department’s environmental impact over the next 10 years.  The SSPP sets department-wide targets for reducing energy and water intensity – or usage per unit area – and vehicle fuel use and waste, and increasing the use of renewable power, electronic stewardship and sustainable acquisition. The plan also sets the department’s first-ever greenhouse gas reduction targets, which commit Commerce to reducing emissions from vehicle use and purchased energy by 21 percent and indirect emissions by six percent by 2020.

The department’s strategy includes aiming for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification for its headquarters building, the Herbert C. Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C.  Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md., is also on the forefront of the department’s sustainability efforts, with plans to build a net-zero energy test facility and accompanying 600 kilowatt solar array. 

Stepping Up Trade Between the U.S. and India Will Mean More Jobs in America and a Better Quality of Life for People in India

Secretary Locke is signing the Energy Cooperation Program MOU with Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The ECP is a partnership that brings together U.S. and Indian companies and both two governments to focus on specific projects and initiatives that will develop the clean energy marketplace and help realize its potential within India.

[Upon return from Asia, Secretary Locke wrote this blog post about the importance of the upcoming trade mission to India in February.]

President Obama and members of his Cabinet, including myself, have completed a trip to India to take the relationship between our two countries to a new level. We were there because we see real opportunities -- both for American workers and businesses and the people of India. U.S. firms can work with Indian companies to help meet the ambitious economic and social goals laid out by its government. And we can do that by increasing trade between our nations, selling more of America’s world-class goods and services to businesses and consumers in India.

Two-way trade between our nations last year was $38 billion, and exports to India have quadrupled in the last seven years. I expect this upward trend to continue. But we have to do more to connect U.S. companies with Indian consumers and partner firms. To that end, President Obama and I announced a high-tech trade mission to India in early February, making stops in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Companies interested in participating can visit for more information.

As Secretary Chu noted during his trip to India last year, due to the increasing demand for energy by India’s emerging middle class, India could become a major export destination for solar panels and wind turbine components manufactured in the United States. That’s why I’m proud we announced the launch of the Energy Cooperation Program. This partnership brings together U.S. and Indian companies and our two governments to focus on specific projects and initiatives that will develop the clean energy marketplace and help realize its potential within India.

Stepping up trade and collaboration between the U.S. and India will mean more jobs in America and a better quality of life for people throughout this fast-growing democracy at the heart of the Obama administration’s renewed engagement in Asia.

America's Broadband Opportunity: Today the Administration is Freeing Up a Chunk of New Wireless Spectrum

This morning an opinion editorial co-written by Secretary Locke and Larry Summers ran in the Wall Street Journal. It explains the value of opening up additional wireless spectrum for innovation and economic growth.

Read the Ten-Year Plan, the Fast Track Evaluation, and learn about opening up more spectrum.

Wireless Transmission TowerRarely is there an opportunity to simultaneously catalyze private-sector investment, help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and increase much needed government revenue. President Obama is seizing just such an opportunity with his commitment to nearly double the amount of available commercial wireless spectrum over the next 10 years. Today, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the first step by announcing a plan to free up 115 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum.

Spectrum is fast becoming a pillar of America's digital infrastructure. It has enabled the mobile broadband revolution. All of our smart phones, netbooks, and the "apps" they support depend on the availability of wireless spectrum.

But while demand for America's spectrum resources is increasing at rapid rates—the amount of information flowing over some wireless networks is growing at over 250 percent per year—there has not been a corresponding increase in supply. This congestion has led to more dropped calls and slower data rates.

Secretary Locke Discusses Sustainable Economic Growth at APEC SME Summit in Japan

Secretary Locke Speaks at the APEC Small And Medium Sized Business Summit

Delivering remarks at the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Summit in Yokohama today, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke about the efforts APEC is making to build an environment more conducive to job growth and innovation, and how business leaders must assume more responsibility to do the same.  

The Summit was hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), which represents 515 local chambers of commerce and industry and boasts 1.35 million members all over Japan. More than 95 percent of its members are SMEs.

As the U.S. representative to the APEC SME working group, Locke highlighted the steps the U.S Commerce Department is taking to promote opportunity and job creation throughout the Asia-Pacific region – from cultivating the development of small- and medium enterprises to addressing innovation and intellectual property rights.  He also called on the assembled business leaders to get more involved in communicating to political leaders and other stakeholders what they do, how they contribute to their community, and what policies they need to succeed.  The Secretary also talked about the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility in helping businesses prove their value to the communities where they operate.

Commerce’s USPTO Extends Deadline to Participate in Green Technology Pilot Program

Green Technology Pilot ProgramThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that the deadline for filing petitions under the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program is being extended until Dec. 31, 2011. The program allows for expedited processing of patent applications related to green technology and was originally set to expire on Dec. 8 of this year.  

Since the pilot program began in December 2009, a total of 790 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants, and 94 patents have been issued. Program statistics show that applicants who use the program can obtain a patent much more quickly. Currently, the average time between the approval of a green technology petition and the first action on an application is just 49 days, and in several cases, patent applications in the green technology program have been issued within a year of the filing date.

“We’ve seen great results so far for those applications in the Green Technology Pilot Program, so we want to extend it for another year and open the program to additional green inventions,” said David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO. “By doing so, we hope to help stimulate investment in green technology, bring more green inventions to market, and create jobs.”

Pending green technology related patent applications filed with the USPTO on or after Dec. 8, 2009, will now be eligible for consideration under the program. Petitions seeking expedited processing of new green patent applications may also now be filed simultaneously with the patent application.

More information on the Green Technology Pilot Program.

Secretary Locke Addresses American Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo, Japan

Delivering remarks at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) luncheon in Tokyo today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke discussed strengthening the U.S.-Japan economic relationship, noting the ongoing work between the U.S. Commerce Department and Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Locke reiterated the United States’ commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japanese trade, and the desire to see continued export expansion into Japan. Bilateral trade between the two countries totaled nearly $147 billion in 2009.

Locke also remarked on the need to ease trade barriers, calling for open investment and trade environment that allows businesses, entrepreneurs and policy makers to bring their respective strengths to the table and spur the type of innovation and economic growth the U.S. cannot achieve alone. He defined economic success as the ease with which policies make it possible for innovators to exchange ideas, as well as to invest and trade.  

The ACCJ luncheon marked Locke’s first stop in Japan while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, which is being chaired this year by Japan in Yokohama.

Commerce Department’s EDA Highlights West Coast Projects Supporting Regional Development and Innovation

i6 award winnersU.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez visited Portland, Ore., today to recognize the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) i6 Challenge winners from EDA’s Seattle region. The Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute, the Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute, and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center are joining forces to create the first comprehensive innovation infrastructure – the Oregon Innovation Cluster – to address gaps in the commercialization continuum for three broad industry/technology clusters. The program is receiving $1 million through the i6 Challenge, which represents a key component of President Obama’s innovation strategy - to move great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to create jobs and economic growth. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced all the winners of the i6 Challenge from six different regions of the country in September.

Fernandez also highlighted two additional EDA investments today. In Portland, he announced a $1.267 million grant to Portland State University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to remodel and upgrade several on-campus science laboratories and train students for work in clean technology and other science-related industries.

In Vancouver, Wash., Fernandez toured the EDA-funded Vancouver Crescent Industrial Area, which received $3 million from EDA to provide roadway infrastructure needed to redevelop the area in support of research and development and small manufacturing companies. 

Free NIST Software Tool Boosts Detection of Software Bugs

Alternate TextResearchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released an updated version of a computer system testing tool that can cut software development costs by more efficiently finding flaws.

Catching software “bugs” is traditionally difficult and time-consuming. About 50 percent of software development budgets go to testing, yet flaws in software still cost the U.S. economy $59.5 billion annually. In efforts to address this issue, NIST designed the Advanced Combinatorial Testing System (ACTS), a freely available software tool.

Fewer software flaws mean enhanced security for personal, government and corporate systems. Hackers often take advantage of software flaws to introduce malware including viruses and botnets to disrupt or take control of computer systems. Once inside a computer, attackers can access personal information or valuable company data.

The NIST Combinatorial Testing for Software is based on research by NIST and others and generates a plan for testing combinations of two to six variables that can interact and cause errors. While studying software crashes of medical device and Web browsers, researchers determined that between 70 and 95 percent of software failures are triggered by only two variables interacting, and practically 100 percent of software failures are triggered by no more than six. In one project, NIST could test all six-way combinations with only 522 tests instead of 17 billion, and find nearly 100 percent of the flaws.

Since the first version was released in 2008, it has been downloaded by 465 times by industry, academia, government and individuals.

For more information, visit  

Secretary Locke speaks to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi

Delivering remarks at a business innovation-focused event hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke discussed the economic opportunities that would result from a closer relationship between the U.S. and India, and underscored the importance of mutually beneficial, job-creating trade between the two nations.

Locke also announced the launch of a U.S.-India Energy Cooperation Program, a partnership that brings together U.S. and Indian companies and our two governments to focus on specific projects and initiatives that will develop the clean energy marketplace and help realize its potential within India. He gave particular thanks to the U.S. Trade Development Agency and its director, Lee Zak, for making the program a reality and for providing the support necessary to get the first two projects off the ground.

On Saturday at the U.S.-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit in Mumbai, Locke announced he will lead a high-tech trade mission to India. The February 6-11, 2011 business development mission will promote the export of high-technology products from leading U.S. firms and make stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The second trade mission led by Locke, it will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in a broad range of advanced industrial sectors, including civil-nuclear trade, defense and security, civil aviation and information and communication.


New Commerce Department Report Shows Broadband Adoption Rises Though 'Gap' Persists

Cover of Digital Nation II reportThe Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released a new report that analyzes broadband Internet access and adoption across the United States. “Digital Nation II” – the most comprehensive study of its kind – finds that socio-economic factors such as income and education levels, although strongly associated with broadband Internet use, are not the sole determinants of use. Even after accounting for socioeconomic differences, significant gaps remain along racial, ethnic and geographic lines.

According to the report, seven out of ten American households used the Internet in 2009. The majority of these households used broadband to access the Internet at home. However, almost one-fourth of all households did not have an Internet user.

The report analyzes data collected through an Internet Usage Survey of 54,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in October 2009. Earlier this year, NTIA released initial findings from the survey, which showed that while virtually all demographic groups have experienced rising broadband Internet adoption at home and 64 percent of households overall have broadband at home, historic disparities among demographic groups have persisted over time.

Read the full report | Release

Secretary Locke Speaks at U.S.-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit, Announces Forthcoming Trade Mission to India

Delivering remarks at the U.S.-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit in Mumbai today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke discussed ways the U.S. and India can work together to promote trade that creates opportunity and jobs in both nations.

Locke remarked on the potential for a bilateral clean energy partnership, as well as the opportunities for American companies to help meet India’s healthcare and infrastructure needs.

At the Summit, Locke announced he will lead a high-tech trade mission to India. The February 6-11, 2011 business development mission will promote the export of high-technology products from leading U.S. firms and make stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The second trade mission led by Locke, it will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in a broad range of advanced industrial sectors, including civil-nuclear trade, defense and security, civil aviation and information and communication.

Exports represent a critical part of the economy and are a key component of the Obama administration’s efforts to spur new job creation. Earlier this year, President Obama outlined his National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double exports by 2015, in support of several million new U.S. jobs. The NEI enhances the U.S. government’s trade promotion efforts, increases available credit for businesses – especially small and medium-sized businesses – looking to export and continues to improve efforts to remove trade barriers for U.S. companies in foreign markets. Remarks

Commerce Department Continues Focus on Expanding Markets for U.S. Exports

Secretary Gary Locke will join President Obama in India this week, where they will work to deepen bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries on a regional and global level. Continuing to expand bilateral economic ties with India is an important step toward achieving the goals of the president’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports within the next five years in support of several million U.S. jobs.

While in Mumbai, Locke will participate in the U.S.-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit. He will then travel to New Delhi, where he will give a keynote address at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce event.  In 2009, U.S. trade with India totaled $37.6 billion, and trade this year has already reached $32.4 billion through August.

Watch this video to hear from small business owners about their experiences partnering with the Department of Commerce.

NIST Hosts Second Cloud Computing Workshop, Urges Greater Government Use of Cloud Computing

NIST Director Pat Gallagher at Podium

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) kicked off the second Cloud Computing Forum & Workshop today at its headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., providing a report on the agency’s efforts to collaboratively develop a Cloud Computing Roadmap among multiple federal and industrial stakeholders.  

NIST Director Patrick Gallagher and U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra opened the two-day workshop and told hundreds of industry and government attendees that they wanted the information technology community's help in developing a "roadmap for action" to increase government use of the cloud. Both stressed the need for open discussion and participation among all stakeholders in developing policies to address challenges like security requirements for cloud services. Cloud computing is not just a fad, Kundra said, but represents a fundamental shift in how chief information officers can provide cost-effective information technology services for their organizations.

NIST held the first Cloud Computing Workshop in May to initiate engagement with industry to accelerate the development of cloud standards for interoperability, portability and security; introduce NIST Cloud Computing efforts; and discuss the federal government's experience with cloud computing.

The Cloud Computing Forum & Workshop II continues through Friday. For more information, visit

Secretary Locke Announces Members of New National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises

Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the appointment of 25 members to the new National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprises.  The advisory council will be led by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and provide advice and recommendations to the department and the administration on a broad range of policy issues affecting the minority business community. 

The new council is the first to focus on promoting minority businesses since around 1969, when President Nixon established MBDA – formerly the Office of Minority Business Enterprise – and an advisory council to oversee and advise the new office.

The minority business community is an engine of economic growth and job creation. Today, there are approximately 5.8 million minority-owned firms generating $1 trillion annually and employing nearly 6 million workers. Yet, there continues to be challenges within the minority business community.  Of those 5.8 million firms, only 800,000 have more than one employee and the gap in average annual revenue between minority-owned and non-minority-owned firms is significant.

The Obama Administration is committed to narrowing that gap and finding ways to support and promote minority businesses. 

“The nation’s 5.8 million minority-owned firms have significant untapped potential that can benefit the United States,” said David A. Hinson, MBDA’s national director. “The advisory council has an opportunity to shape future policies and programs that will set the foundation for the growth of $100 million companies across all industries that are owned and operated by U.S. minorities.”

The first meeting of the new National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprises is planned for early 2011.


Commerce Department's USPTO to Kick Off Independent Inventors Conference

Logo for USPTO Independent Inventors ConferenceThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will kick off its annual Independent Inventors Conference tomorrow at its headquarters in Alexandria, Va.  Co-sponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, the conference is one of many outreach programs offered by the USPTO to assist independent inventors. Art Fry, co-inventor of Post-It® Notes and a 2010 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, and USPTO Director David Kappos will be keynote speakers.

The conference will feature numerous experts and employees from the USPTO who will discuss topics such as the fundamentals of searching and filing trademark applications and the interplay between patents, trademarks and copyrights. Conference attendees will receive practical tips along with information on marketing and licensing, patent application preparation, patent and trademark searching, local resources, and lessons learned from successes and failures. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network one-on-one with experts and provide feedback on how the USPTO can better serve them.

Thousands of independent inventors and small businesses do critical research and development every day and produce innovative goods and services that benefit the public. These innovations continue to play a central role in the future of the American economy and job creation. 

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday with a pre-conference workshop for beginning inventors today. Learn more about the Annual Independent Inventors Conference on the PTO website, including how to register.

U.S. Census Bureau to Provide Insight into Nation's Population with Upcoming Data Releases

Image of Robert Groves on podiumCommerce's U.S. Census Bureau today hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to provide an update on census operations, detailing the steps required to both process and evaluate the 2010 Census data collected from over 130 million U.S. households. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves explained that the 2010 Census numbers are just one part of a series of data releases coming out in the months ahead that provide information about our nation’s population.  

On December 6, the Census Bureau will release a set of national population estimates called Demographic Analysis that are based on historical data of births, deaths and estimates of in- and out-migration. Later in December, the Census Bureau will release the first-ever set of five-year American Community Survey (ACS) data. These detailed data are essential to the understanding of our nation and our ability to make informed decisions about the future of our communities.

By the end of December, the Census Bureau will release the first 2010 Census data: the total population for the nation and states, and the apportionment counts allocating congressional seats by state. For more information, visit