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Remarks at National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Meeting

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Secretary of Commerce John Bryson
Remarks at National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Hello, everyone–thanks for being here today. I mostly want to hear from you, so I’ll be brief.

But it’s clear that this is an exceptionally accomplished group. I’ve just had the chance to speak with some of you, but to everyone in this room and on the call, I am grateful for your time and energy.

When Secretary Locke launched this Council, he had high expectations for you–and in response you have excelled. Your work has been received within the department and throughout the administration with great interest.

And the reason for that is simple: Yours is a vitally important task because innovation and entrepreneurship fuel America’s economy. It’s what enables our businesses to create new products and services and generate good, well-paying jobs.

That is my foremost priority as Secretary of Commerce.

I want the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to help this administration develop policies that support the innovation we need to keep the U.S. competitive.

And we need to enable our entrepreneurs and businesses to turn those innovations into new products, new companies and new jobs to sustain our economy.

Since being created, NACIE has focused on some key issues. . . improving the commercialization of university research and access to capital among them. . . and these are areas where NACIE will continue to provide critical advice.

But I want to take this time to discuss how we can better leverage the expertise of this group, how we can commit NACIE to a broader role in public participation and thought leadership.

I know the advisory council landscape can be vast, with the President’s Jobs Council, Start Up America, and so on. But I see this Council as a major player offering advice both internally and externally.

And as ambassadors to the innovation and entrepreneurship community, I envision you playing a key role in building support for the priorities of this administration and this Department.

I want to get to our discussion, but first let me just mention a few topics I’m interested in hearing more about your thoughts and recommendations.

In many ways, your focus on the commercialization of federally funded research highlights a fundamental change in the role of the university. Your work has encouraged accountability, and I understand you’ve developed a companion piece to the university-focused letter, this time centered on the federal lab space.

I am very interested in your thoughts on this topic.

Also, during your last quarterly meeting, I know you reviewed several ideas for consideration, but that two–implementing the America Invents Act and developing regional frameworks–rose to the top.

These issues are major priorities for the USPTO and Economic Development Administration, but also for our nation as a whole. I look forward to your views on them.

In addition to these issues, I would ask that you think particularly about the ways that innovation and entrepreneurship–working through increased commercialization and regional frameworks–can foster the manufacturing of tomorrow.

I champion this idea, where

  • “in the making” . . . is the Learning,
  • “in the making” . . . is the Innovation,
  • and, critically,  “in the making” . . . is the Economic Impact–along with good, high-paying jobs.

And I’m sure you all have strong views of personal interest which the Department and I can benefit from.

So, let’s get started. . . .