Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced this week new board members for the department’s Innovation Advisory Board. The new advisory group, established by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, will help guide policy on job creation and global competitiveness, the department said.
The COMPETE act, signed by President Barack Obama in January, also boosted funding for federal science and technology investments into such areas as clean energy.
The 15-member board will advise Locke — and his replacement, when Locke shifts to his ambassadorial post in China later this year — on a number of issues, including trade and exports, research and development, immigration, intellectual property and tax policy.
Locke promised the board would undertake “most comprehensive review of U.S. innovation and global competitiveness of the 21st century.”
He added, “With a better understanding of how the U.S. is performing in areas such as education, science and technology and business development, as compared to our economic competitors, we can make more targeted and more effective policy decisions that will create jobs, promote economic growth and ultimately enable America to win the future.”
That last turn of phrase is one of the administration’s new catchphrases. Obama first rolled it out during his State of the Union address at the beginning of the year.
“These steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession, but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making,” Obama said in his speech, before launching into a list of priorities that included clean energy, education improvements and a reorganization of the federal bureaucracy.
The Innovation Advisory Board will hold its first meeting June 6 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. Members of the board will serve until the study is completed, which, under the dictates of the statute authorizing it, must be done before Jan. 4, 2012.