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Blog Category: Development

Commerce Department Recruiting Industry Experts to Serve on New Advisory Council on Minority Business

Comerce seal

The Commerce Department is recruiting leaders from the private sector to serve on the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise (NACMBE). The council will provide advice and guidance to the Secretary on key issues, including policies that would best position minority-owned firms to compete in the global economy: access to capital, expanded participation in emerging industries, and improved access to the global supply chains of the world’s largest corporations. Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will assist the Secretary in overseeing the Advisory Council. (More) (Nomination notice)

Secretary Locke Highlights Importance of Tourism to U.S. Economy

Secretary Locke meets with press in Orlando to discuss travel and tourism.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida today to discuss the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the U.S. economy. The industry generates nearly $1.3 trillion for the U.S. economy and supports 8.2 million U.S. jobs. Locke also highlighted President Obama’s new Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development, a $40 million effort to facilitate economic development along the Space Coast. Locke was joined by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Reps. Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Grayson. (More) (Remarks)

EDA Announces Competition to Bring Innovative Ideas to Market

The i6 Challenge Logo

The i6 Challenge is a new $12 million innovation competition administered by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six winning teams with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in their regions. NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in supplemental funding to their SBIR grantees that are associated or partnered with the winning teams. (More) (Press release—PDF)

Commerce Department Grant Advances President Obama's Commitment to Creating Jobs, Strengthening Economy in Central Florida

EDA seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a $2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority of Titusville, Florida, to assist in the expansion of the Bristow Academy, a major helicopter pilot training facility, and create new Central Florida aerospace sector jobs. The project is expected to save 155 jobs, create 97 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates. (More)

Commerce Secretary Locke Addresses Economic Development Professionals at Federal Forum

U.S. Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Federal Economic Development Forum today. Locke spoke about the critical role federal economic development agencies play in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within local communities. The IEDC works to help economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez joined Locke at the forum. (Remarks)

Deputy Secretary Hightower Joins Vice President Biden in Pennsylvania for Groundbreaking of ARRA Project

Hightower on podium with Biden and others behind. Click for larger image.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis Hightower joined Vice President Joe Biden to kick off the groundbreaking of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project, with funds administered by Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA obligated all $147 million of its Recovery Act funds one full year ahead of schedule. Responding to aggressive goals set out by President Obama and Vice President Biden, the agency acted expeditiously. Recovery Act funds were delivered to communities where they were needed most. (Remarks)

Deputy Secretary Hightower, Rep. Peters Host Roundtable with Michigan Small Business Owners

U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower joined Rep. Gary Peters in Farmington Hills, Mich. to meet with local small business owners, representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Detroit Regional Chamber, to discuss the current business climate, growing manufacturing jobs and spotlight initiatives that are working to help improve Michigan’s economy. Hightower underscored the department’s commitment to provide technical and business assistance to small manufacturers. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces Grants in Iowa to Aid Flood Rebuilding Efforts

Secretary Locke at podium

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke viewed new flood-resistant construction at the University of Iowa and announced grants totaling $30 million to assist in flood rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the 2008 Iowa flood—part of a continuing effort by the Obama administration to help those impacted by the flooding. Locke was joined by Governor Chet Culver, Congressman Dave Loebsack and Mayors Matt Hayek and Jim Fausett. Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will administer the grants. (Remarks) (Press release)

Deputy Secretary Hightower to Promote U.S. Innovation Agenda During Visit to Brussels

Portrait of Hightower

U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower is in Brussels to promote the president’s National Innovation Strategy as a key driver for sustainable growth and quality jobs. Hightower’s visit will focus on three key building blocks to encourage innovation: investment in research, development and technology capital; promotion of competitive markets, and support for national priorities in the clean energy, advanced vehicle technology and health care sectors. Today, he delivered remarks at a luncheon hosted by the American Chambers of Commerce. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces Recovery Act Grants to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah

Recovery logo.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a press conference call with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), Sen. Tom Udall (NM), Rep. Jim Matheson (UT), Rep. Ben Lujan (NM) and former New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya and announced a $32 million Recovery Act grant to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah that will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic development, create jobs, and improve education and health care. Locke announced a total of 10 grants totaling more than $63 million that will increase broadband access and adoption in more than a dozen states. (More)

Secretary Locke, Senator Brown Highlight Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs in Ohio

Secretary Locke at microphone. Click for larger image.

U. S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Dublin, Ohio to talk to Americans about the administration’s plan to increase the sales of exports and support the creation of high-paying jobs through President Obama’s recently announced National Export Initiative (NEI). Locke was joined by Senator Sherrod Brown. Officials from the State and Agriculture Departments, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, also met with business leaders across the country to discuss the steps the Administration is taking to help businesses sell more U.S.-made goods and services abroad. (Remarks) (Release) (Export Promotion Cabinet release)

USPTO Seeks Nominees for National Medal of Technology and Innovation Award

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 award was created by Congress in 1980. The deadline is March 31. (Nomination form)

NIST, NASA Launch Joint Effort to Develop New Climate Satellites

One of the three CLARREO satellites, which will make observations of the energy the Earth absorbs from the sun and radiates back into space. Click for larger imae.

Image: NASA

Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have launched a joint effort to gather enhanced climate data from spaceborne climate observation instruments planned for a group of satellites now under development. The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Mission includes a fleet of satellites tentatively scheduled for launch later this decade that will gather data for long-term climate projections. (More)

Secretary Locke to Lead Administration's First Cabinet-Level Trade Mission

Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Delivering the keynote address at the U.S.-China Business Council’s Forecast 2010 conference, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced he will lead the Obama administration’s first cabinet-level trade mission when he travels to China and Indonesia this May. 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. The mission will take place May 15-25, and make stops in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, China, and Jakarta, Indonesia. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Meets with Russia's Economic Minister, Takes Part in MIT Technology Program

Elvira Nabiullina, Russian Minister of Economic Development, and Commerce Sevretary Locke shake hands at July 2009 meeting in Moscow. File photo.

Nabiullina, Locke, July 2009 file photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Ms. Elvira Nabiullina at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. The two officials, who previously met at the July 2009 Moscow Summit, held their first meeting in their capacities as co-chairs of the Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission. (More)

NOAA, Google Join Forces to Visualize Scientific Data

NOAA logo. Click to go to NOAA home page.

NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and Google have signed a cooperative research and development agreement outlining how they will work together to create state-of-the-art visualizations of scientific data to illustrate how our planet works. Under the agreement, NOAA and Google plan to work together on research and development to join NOAA’s oceanographic, meteorological, biological, and climatological data with Google’s software capabilities. The wide availability of Google’s Internet tools has the potential to bring visualizations of NOAA data to new audiences around the world. (More)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces Plans for Forum on R&D Commercialization at Universities

Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Photo: National Press Club

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today his plans to host a forum with university leaders and key stakeholders on the roles of universities in innovation, economic development, job creation, and commercialization of federally funded research next month in Washington, D.C. “It’s not tenable for the United States to continue with the status quo,” Locke said at the Kauffman Foundation’s State of Entrepreneurship event. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke, Senator Begich Meet with Alaska Business and 2010 Census Leaders in Anchorage

Locke and participants at roundtable.

U.S. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) in Anchorage today for a series of meetings to discuss trade expansion, rural development and the 2010 Census. Locke and Begich hosted a roundtable discussion with Alaska business leaders on potential trade expansion between Alaska and Pacific Rim countries, and discussed rural development with the Denali Commission.The pair also toured the Anchorage census office to meet with statewide Complete Count Committee members in advance of this year’s 2010 Census. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces $15.6 Million Grant to restore St. Louis Port

Secretary Locke with Commerce seal and flag in background.

File photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a $15.6 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to reconstruct the St. Louis Municipal Terminal’s South Dock, which was damaged by extensive flooding in 2008. Three local St. Louis businesses served by the port met with Locke and Mayor Francis Slay before a City Hall news conference this morning to discuss the impact of ensuring the continuation of the area’s supply chain of river-related commerce. “Reconstruction of the critically important South Dock saves existing jobs and creates new ones by strengthening local connections to the global marketplace,” Locke said. (More) (Remarks)

Deputy Secretary Hightower Announces $39.7 Million Investment to Increase Broadband Access in New York

Hightower, Arcuri and SUNY Cortland president Dr. Erik J. Bitterbaum. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower and New York Congressman Michael Arcuri traveled to The State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland to spotlight a $39.7 million Recovery Act grant that will bring broadband Internet service to communities across the state that lack the technology. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic development, create jobs and improve education and health care. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke to Travel to Copenhagen to Discuss Administration's Commitment to Spur Clean Energy Technology, Reinvigorate the Economy

U.S. COP-15 logo. Click to go to State Department Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Copenhagen on Friday to discuss the Obama administration’s commitment to meet clean energy and climate change challenges and the promise clean energy development holds for spurring innovation, reinvigorating the economy and creating jobs. Secretary Locke has been a leading voice in the administration promoting innovation and investment in the clean energy economy. (More) (Commerce COP-15 Web site) (U.S. Center Web site)

Secretary Locke Highlights E-Commerce's Role in Growing the Economy

Locke on podium.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke highlighted the importance of electronic commerce to the U.S. economy in a keynote speech at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Locke underscored the department’s commitment to working with U.S. industry and consumer advocates to protect consumers’ privacy and security online. The three-day conference will bring together senior government officials, business representatives, civil society, international organizations and academics from OECD and non-member economies to discuss consumer protection issues in today’s Internet economy. (Remarks)

Commerce's USPTO to Accelerate Review of Green Technology Patents

Kappos, Locke, Chu and Arun Majumdar anwer questions from the press.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will pilot a program to accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications, Secretary Gary Locke announced today. The new initiative, coming days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, will accelerate the development and deployment of green technology, create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness in this vital sector. (More) (Remarks) (Energy Announcement)

Dr. Patrick Gallagher Sworn In as 14th Director of NIST

Portrait of Director Gallagher

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke swore in Patrick D. Gallagher, Ph.D., as the 14th Director of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In remarks before hundreds of staff on the NIST campus, Locke said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Pat’s experience and expertise taking the helm at NIST, especially as this administration is working to accelerate the development of new technologies in areas like clean energy and efficiency.” (Remarks) (Director’s bio)

NIST: Small Nanoparticles Bring Big Improvement to Medical Imaging

Human red blood cells, in which membrane proteins are targeted and labeled with quantum dots, reveal the clustering behavior of the proteins. The number of purple features, which indicate the nuclei of malaria parasites, increases as malaria development progresses. The NIST logo at bottom was made by a photo lithography technique on a thin film of quantum dots, taking advantage of the property that clustered dots exhibit increased photoluminescence. (White bars: 1 μm; red: 10 μm.)

Credit: H. Kang / NIST and F. Tokumasu / NIAID

Click for larger image.

A joint research team, working at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has discovered a method of using nanoparticles to illuminate the cellular interior to reveal these slow processes. Nanoparticles, thousands of times smaller than a cell, have a variety of applications. One type of nanoparticle called a quantum dot glows when exposed to light. These semiconductor particles can be coated with organic materials, which are tailored to be attracted to specific proteins within the part of a cell a scientist wishes to examine. (More)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama and Administration Officials at White House Tribal Nations Conference

Secretaries Salazar, Vilsack and Locke seen at conference.

Photo-capture from White House Web stream

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke joined President Obama and high-level administration officials at the White House Tribal Nations Conference to highlight the department’s ongoing efforts to support economic development in Native American communities through the Minority Business Development Agency and other department bureaus. The conference provided leaders from 564 federally-recognized tribes the opportunity to have interactive discussions with administration officials regarding: economic development, public safety, housing, education, health and labor. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces $8.65 Million in EDA Grants in Four States to Create Jobs, Strengthen the Economy

Economic Development Administration seal. Click to go to EDA Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced $8.65 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants in four states, including Pittsburgh, Penn., Fairmont, W.Va., Davis, W.Va., Roseburg, Ore. and Eagle Pass, Texas. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster economic growth and job creation.Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Anaheim Receives $7.2 Million in Federal Funds to Create Jobs, Strengthen Economy

Recipients and officials holding presentation check. Click for larger image.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian P. McGowan presented a $7.2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the city of Anaheim to create jobs in the Anaheim Canyon. The project is expected to create 1,900 jobs and generate $570 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster economic growth and job creation. (More)

NTIA Announces First State Broadband Mapping Grants

NTIA logo.

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it has awarded the first four grants under NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program to fund activities in California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Vermont. The program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will increase broadband access and adoption through better data collection and broadband planning. The data will be displayed in NTIA’s national broadband map, a tool that will inform policymakers' efforts and provide consumers with improved information on the broadband Internet services available to them. (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)

EDA Announces Ongoing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding to Create Jobs, Boost Development

Image of Flagship Enterprise Center. Click for larger image.

Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) invested $2.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to the Flagship Enterprise Center, Inc. and the city of Anderson, Ind.,(pictured here), to help build a business and industrial facility, which will house early-stage businesses that are working to establish themselves in the community. Other recent ARRA grants have been announced for Memphis, Tenn.; Spring Valley, Minn.; Tupelo, Miss.; Fosston, Minn.; Scottsburg, Ind. and Bristol Bay Borough, Alaska. (EDA Recovery Web site)

Secretary Locke Announces Over $11.9 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Create Jobs, Boost Development in Seven States

EDA seal.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced over $11.9 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants to help seven states boost private investment and create new jobs. The grants will make water treatment facility upgrades in Kentucky; help build an access road to serve an industrial park in Minnesota; help make roadway updates to improve access to an industrial park in Illinois; help build water and sewer infrastructure needed to spur business development in Georgia; convert an existing building for use as a regional vocational training facility in Idaho; expand an existing dock and install a crane to boost the commercial fishing sector in Alaska, and extend an avenue and provide water infrastructure in Washington state.

Secretary Locke Reads "To the Top!" with DC Grade School Students

Locke seated and holding book while children look on. Click for larger image.

At lunchtime, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan and Education Secretary Duncan participated in the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!” During the reading, Secretary Locke read, “Those Shoes,” a picture book by Maribeth Boelts to a group of District of Columbia grade school students. The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson to Keynote MBDA's Annual MED Week Conference

Earvin “Magic” Johnson will keynote the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference in Washington, August 26-28. Also participating as speakers will be U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, new MBDA National Director David Hinson, and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills. The conference will focus on fostering innovation, competitiveness and opportunities for minority businesses to retool and rebuild America’s infrastructure under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (More) (Registration)

Secretary Locke Announces $7.6 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Create Jobs, Boost Development in Four States

Picture of construction site for railway infrastructure improvement. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced $7.6 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants to help four states boost private investment and create new jobs. The grants will: establish a bio-medical manufacturing and business park in Illinois; develop an industrial area in Florida; provide rail service to a technology park in South Carolina and expand an industrial park to accommodate new and existing industry in Michigan.

Secretary Locke Visits Philadelphia for Conversation on Future of Urban and Metropolitan America

Image of Mayor Nutter, Secretary Locke and reporter with microphone in store. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Philadelphia today to kick off the Obama Administration’s National Conversation on Urban and Metropolitan America. This was the first stop in a nationwide tour that will help develop the President’s new urban agenda. Locke was joined by Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims for a town hall discussion with local experts about the development of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Initiative and efforts to encourage supermarket development in urban areas.

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

Image of Locke and participants seated at table. Click for larger image.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman co-chaired the fourth U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. Locke and Froman co-chaired the meeting with Brazilian Presidential Chief of Staff Minister Dilma Rousseff and Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge. The Forum, made up of 20 CEOs from the two countries, meets twice a year to make recommendations on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship. Pictured here are Locke and participants in the morning session Tuesday.

Locke Announces St. Louis Native to Lead MBDA

File photo of David Hinson smiling.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the appointment of David Hinson, a St. Louis native with more than 20 years of business experience, as the new administrator of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This agency is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the United States.“The success of minority-owned businesses is essential to our economic recovery, and I’m counting on David to maximize their opportunities,” Locke said. (More)

Obama Administration Announces CEOs for U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman today announced the U.S. private sector participants of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. The fourth meeting of the Forum will be held in Washington, D.C., July 20-21, 2009. Locke and Froman will co-chair the meeting with Brazilian Presidential Chief of Staff Minister Dilma Rousseff, and Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge.The Forum, made up of 20 CEOs from the United States and Brazil, meets twice a year to make recommendations to the two governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship. (More)

Secretary Locke Addresses Moscow U.S.-Russia Business Summit, Named Co-Chair of New Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group

President Obama, President Medvedev, Secretary Locke and Russian Minister Nabiullina seen on stage. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at a U.S.-Russia Business Summit in Moscow where CEOs and business leaders from both countries presented recommendations to expand bilateral commercial cooperation. The Secretary was joined by Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina. Presidents Obama and Medvedev also addressed the summit. On Monday, the Presidents announced that Locke and Nabiullina would co-chair the Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group as part of the newly formed U.S.-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission between the two countries. (Remarks)

Physicists Find Way to Control Individual Bits in Quantum Computers

Optical lattices use lasers to separate rubidium atoms (red) for use as information “bits” in neutral-atom quantum processors -- prototype devices which designers are trying to develop into full-fledged quantum computers. NIST scientists have managed to isolate and control pairs of the rubidium atoms with polarized light, an advance that may bring quantum computing a step closer to reality. Click for larger image.

Physicists at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have overcome a hurdle in quantum computer development, having devised a viable way to manipulate a single “bit” in a quantum processor without disturbing the information stored in its neighbors. The approach, which makes novel use of polarized light to create “effective” magnetic fields, could bring the long-sought computers a step closer to reality. A great challenge in creating a working quantum computer is maintaining control over the carriers of information, the “switches” in a quantum processor while isolating them from the environment. (More)

Secretary Locke to Accompany President Obama to Russia

File photo portrait of Secretary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Moscow, July 6-8, in conjunction with the Presidential Summit Meeting between Presidents Obama and Medvedev. Locke will represent the administration at a private sector Business Summit where U.S. and Russian business leaders will present recommendations to expand bilateral commercial cooperation. This will be Locke’s first overseas trip as Secretary of Commerce. While in Moscow, he will meet with the Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina to discuss U.S.-Russian economic and commercial relations and Russia’s integration into the global economy. (More)

NIST Releases Report on Smart Grid Development

NIST logo.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology today released for public review a report* that identifies issues and proposes priorities for developing technical standards and an architecture for a U.S. Smart Grid. The Smart Grid is a planned nationwide network that will use 21st century information technology to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely, while allowing increased use of renewable power sources. The nearly 300-page report, developed and delivered to NIST by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is available on the NIST Smart Grid Web site. (More)

Secretary Locke Hosts Meeting of U.S. Travel and Tourism Board

Secretary Locke (center) with participants. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted his first meeting with the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). Board members presented their recommendations regarding airport congestion, travel facilitation and the economic sustainability of the travel and tourism industry. “At Commerce, we’re working closely on tourism development with trade associations, destinations, and industry leaders,” Locke said. “We are tracking the industry because of its importance to the U.S. economy and understand the stress it is currently experiencing. I look forward to working with the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to restore growth to this important sector.” (More)

Secretary Locke Announces Recovery Act Grant to Create Jobs, Boost Development in Montana

EDA seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced a $2.7 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for the State of Montana to capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) that will provide timber and wood businesses with the financing they need to become more competitive. This grant is the first awarded by the Commerce Department under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). (More) (Commerce.gov/Recovery)

Secretary Locke Announces Availability of $27 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Help Midwestern Communities

AARA logo. Click to go to www.Commerce.gov/Recovery.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the availability of $27 million in grants for Midwestern communities. These grants, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), are available through the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The region targeted by the grants is coping with the downturn of the U.S. auto industry. The money will be available for communities and organizations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. (More) (Remarks) (Commerce.gov/Recovery)

USPTO: May 29 Last Day for National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nominations

Image of National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement. The USPTO administers the NMTI program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. The deadline for nominations is May 29, 2009. Honorees are chosen for 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. (More)

Commerce Secretary Announces $19.5 Million More for Ike/Gustav Recovery Efforts

EDA seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced an additional $19.5 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) investments to aid the ongoing economic recovery following the devastation caused last year by hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Last week, the Obama Administration announced $20.9 million of investments for the Gulf Coast region to assist in the recovery. “The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s competitiveness,” Locke said. (More)

Locke, Chu Announce Significant Steps in Smart Grid Development

Chu, Locke ande Arnold at White House press conference. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced significant progress that will help expedite development of a nationwide “smart” electric power grid. A Smart Grid would replace the current, outdated system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. The development of the grid will create jobs and spur the development of innovative products that can be exported. Once implemented, the Smart Grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by improving efficiency and spurring the use of renewable energy sources. (More)

Secretary Locke Announces $5.25 Million Investment in Arkansas Job Creation, Economic Development

EDA seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, on his first official trip since taking office, presented $5.25 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to create jobs and strengthen the Arkansas economy in the wake of the severe storms, flooding and tornados that occurred in 2008. Locke was joined by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and Sen. Mark Pryor.“The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving our nation’s competitiveness,” Locke said. (Remarks)

Vice President Biden and Secretary Locke Outline Funding for Smart Grid Initiatives

Vice President Biden and Commerce Secretary Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Jefferson City, Mo. with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, detailed plans by the Department of Energy to develop a smart, strong and secure electrical grid, which will create new jobs and help deliver reliable power more effectively with less impact on the environment to customers across the nation. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Vice President and Secretary outlined plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in Smart Grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for Smart Grid storage, monitoring and technology viability. (White House Release) (Secretary’s Remarks)

NIST Announces Three-Phase Plan for Smart Grid Standards, Paving Way for More Efficient, Reliable Electricity

Image of electricity-producing wind farm. Click for larger image.

Photo: Shutterstock

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to moving the nation toward energy independence, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a three-phase plan to expedite development of key standards for a Smart Grid, a nationwide network that uses information technology to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely. The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contains investments critical to spurring the Smart Grid development process. The Smart Grid will allow wind farms to send their energy farther from their source. (More) (NIST Recovery Act Information)

U.S. Senate Confirms Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary

Photo of Gary Locke.

File Photo

The United States Senate confirmed Gary Locke as the nation’s 36th Commerce Secretary by unanimous consent. Secretary Locke will be a key member of President Obama’s economic team and will work to foster and promote American economic development at home, and will be an influential ambassador for American business and industry abroad. Locke is the first Chinese American to serve as Commerce Secretary. “I’m honored to take on this challenge and will work every day to make the Commerce Department an engine for improving our competitiveness, encouraging innovation and creating jobs,” Locke said. (More)

Commerce's EDA Announces $150 Million in Recovery Funds to Create Jobs and Boost Development in Areas Hit Hard by Recession

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act logo.

As part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s appropriation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 recently signed by President Obama, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the availability of $150 million to create jobs and boost development in parts of the country hit hard by the recession. The Federal Funding Opportunity notice, published in the Federal Register, may be viewed at: www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/FFON.xml. (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)

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)

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)