Innovation Around the Administration

President Obama has taken historic steps to lay the foundation for the innovation economy of the future. Below are some highlights from around the Administration.

The White House

Educate to Innovate

President Obama has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This campaign will include efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math.

Open Government Initiative Innovations Gallery

The the Innovations Gallery highlights some of the innovations and innovators across the Government who are already translating the values of open government into practice.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Recovery Act Provides a Large Swath of Kansas with Broadband Service-Creating an Estimated 25,000 Construction Jobs

David Villano, assistant administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities programs recently provided the keynote address to the 2010 Kansas Broadband Summit in Wichita.  The Summit, entitled “A Fully Connected Kansas – Mission Possible” addressed topics of telemedicine, government services, economic development, mapping and digital accessibility.  Over 180 attended including USDA Recovery Act broadband awardees Madison Telephone Co., LLC, NEX-Tech, and SC Telcom.  The purpose of the summit was to begin building a statewide sustainable broadband focus.

USDA Recovery Act Loan Guarantees Spur Job Growth and Business Development

The estimated number of jobs created or saved through USDA Recovery Act investments in rural America continues to grow.  In Ohio USDA has provided over $59.5 million in loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, innovate and create jobs.  You can see economic activity everywhere.

USDA Provides Recovery Act Funds to Bring Broadband to the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation

More than 7,000 rural residents in a remote area of Arizona will soon be connected to the world at large thanks to Recovery Act support from USDA Rural Development.

The funds, provided through USDA’s Broadband Initiatives Program, will be used to run fiber optics from Holbrook (located west of the Petrified Forest National Park) to Jeddito, Arizona, bringing broadband to the Hopi Tribe and portions of the Navajo Nation, as well as other communities.

Promise of Broadband Expansion Coming True

In the days of the Great Depression, the National Recovery Act had as part of its focus the development of rural America. The primary initiatives of that era were development of electrical and telephone systems throughout the nation.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Policy Framework for Protecting Consumer Privacy Online While Supporting Innovation

The Department of Commerce issued a report detailing initial policy recommendations aimed at promoting consumer privacy online while ensuring the Internet remains a platform that spurs innovation, job creation, and economic growth.  The report outlines a dynamic framework to increase protection of consumers’ commercial data and support innovation and evolving technology. The Department is seeking additional public comment on the plan to further the policy discussion and ensure the framework benefits all stakeholders in the Internet economy.

National Entrepreneur Day Message from the Commerce Department

With President Obama’s proclamation setting November 14 - 20, 2010, as National Entrepreneurship Week, we celebrated National Entrepreneurs' Day to honor our nation’s entrepreneurs and their role as catalysts for creating new industries, businesses and jobs.

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

President Barack Obama honored 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.

Secretary Locke Keynotes Annual GridWeek Conference

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke delivered the opening keynote address today at the 2010 GridWeek Conference at the Washington Convention Center. The annual conference brings together key leaders and stakeholders from the energy industry to explore the Smart Grid’s impact on the economy, utility infrastructure, consumers and the environment.

Partnership for Cybersecurity Innovation

Obama Administration officials released a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the Department of Commerce, the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS/S&T), and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC). The goal of the agreement is to speed the commercialization of cybersecurity research innovations that support our Nation’s critical infrastructures.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Web Chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

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.

U.S. Department of Energy

The Reality of Solar Panels at 50% Cost

The U.S. currently obtains less than 1 percent of its electricity from solar energy.  If 1366 Technologies’ process is successful, solar energy could finally become cost competitive with fossil sources, and solar energy could provide a major share of our electricity. 

The Future of Electric Vehicles and Arizona State University’s MAIL Battery

Electric Vehicles are becoming a reality. The Department of Energy hosted an Electric Vehicle Cities Workshop – putting the minds of government officials, automotive industry representatives, and electric vehicle technology innovators all together in the same room.

The IMPACCT of Innovation on Carbon Capture and Storage

The Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) released a report evaluating the barriers to the wide-scale deployment of CCS. While the report indicates that CCS can be a viable technology, it will hinge on the development of economically competitive CCS technologies and supportive national policies.

Recovery Act Provides $9.6 Million for Transformational Energy Research Projects

Secretary Chu announced $9.6 million dollars of Recovery Act funding for six projects that could revolutionize how the country uses, stores and produces energy.

Addressing the Sputniks of our Generation

Dr. Arun Majumdar, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), discusses the fierce urgency of technology innovation to address our energy security and climate change and to once again reclaim the lead in technological innovation.

ARPA-E Sparks Connections at the Southwest Energy Innovation Forum

While many of the policy decisions that shape our energy future are made in Washington, almost all of the important work of actually developing and deploying the innovative and advanced technologies we need takes place in labs and at universities across the country. That’s why the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently partnered with Arizona State University and the Kauffman Foundation to organize the inaugural Southwest Energy Innovation Forum.

Innovations: Making Biofuels More Efficient

Currently all biofuels rely on photosynthetic plants to convert energy from sunlight into useable fuel.  But the overall efficiency of using natural photosynthesis to make biofuels is very low, and large acreage of land is necessary to grow the plants.  This issue is why the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) is sponsoring scientists at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in collaboration with the University of Georgia  (UGA) to work on an Electrofuels program using "Extremophiles."

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Harnessing Innovation To Amplify Mission Success

The spirit of innovation is spreading throughout the Federal government, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is no exception. Greater government-wide focus on transparency, collaboration, and participation has opened new pathways for innovation and invigorated those that already exist. The governments newest challenge is fostering cultures within individual agencies that facilitate innovation around their unique mission priorities without unnecessary rigidness.

U.S. Department of Labor

Showcasing the Workforce Investment System During Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Employment and Training Administration’s top priority is getting U.S. workers back to work in good jobs. For some, the good job they’re looking for involves working for themselves. These budding entrepreneurs may have an exciting new business idea, dream of being their own bosses, or are looking for the flexibility self-employment can offer. They are willing to work hard and have specific skills, interests, and talents they can apply to a business.In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, ETA is showcasing how the workforce investment system can support entrepreneurial and self-employment training. .

U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development

Transparency for Global Development

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched Version 1.0 of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, a new platform devoted to making it easier than ever for policymakers, civil society, and the public to understand U.S. investments and their impact around the globe. 

Do you want to know how much the U.S. invested in education in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009? The Foreign Assistance Dashboard makes it easy to see and compare investments across sectors and countries at a glance. Civic-minded developers and researchers can download any and all of the Dashboard’s data in a machine-readable format to mash, visualize, and analyze U.S. budget data in new ways. 

White House Shareables