Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Biden, Chu: Recovery Act Energizes Innovation

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu unveil a report with a new analysis on the impact of Recovery Act investments in innovation, science and technology at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building's South Court Auditorium on August 24, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu held a press conference on Tuesday morning in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House to talk about a new report analyzing the Recovery Act's investments in science and technology breakthroughs.

The report, titled "The Recovery Act: Transforming The American Economy Through Innovation," was released by the Vice President's office and focuses on how federal seed money from the landmark legislation is spurring private sector growth in key areas related to American competitiveness in the 21st century global marketplace.

"Both the President and Vice President understand that innovation is directly tied to our nation’s future prosperity," said Chu in his opening remarks before Biden took to the podium. "It’s also hard-wired into our DNA. Throughout our history Americans have never been willing to accept that something can’t be done. We refuse to accept that any challenge is impossible. No matter what the challenge is we’ll find a way."

Chu went on to list some examples of innovation that are happening thanks to investments from the Recovery Act. They include cutting the cost of solar power in half by 2015, which will make installing solar panels on rooftops cost competitive with retail electricity from the grid; cutting the costs of advanced batteries for electric vehicles by 70% while at the same time adding "perhaps a hundred times the current energy storage capacity"; doubling U.S. renewable energy generation capacity and manufacturing by 2012; and building a smart grid "that lets appliances talk to the power grid, optimizing electricity use and saving consumers money."

"Our investments in innovation are creating jobs, creating new industries, making existing industries more competitive, and, in the process, they’re driving down costs for new technologies that are badly needed, and helping our nation reassert our place as the world’s center for inventors and entrepreneurs," said Biden about the Recovery Act report.

The Vice President explained the four investments the report focuses on. Here they are taken directly from the White House website's transcript of his comments:

1. Modernizing transportation, including advanced vehicle technology and high-speed rail;
2. Jumpstarting the renewable energy sector through wind and solar energy;
3. Investing in groundbreaking medical research; and
4. Building a platform that will enhance the private sector’s ability to innovate, through investments in broadband and the Smart Grid, by giving them the tools they need to grow.

"I want to see a day when you can pop the hood on your electric car made in Smyrna, Tennessee, to check on your advanced battery made in Holland, Michigan, or Noblesville, Indiana, and an electric motor made in Longmont, Colorado, as you recharge your vehicle at an electric charging station in San Diego," said Biden.

Here is the full video of Chu and Biden's remarks about the new Recovery Act report on innovation:

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