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Friday, October 24, 2014

Department of Commerce (DOC)

Mission

Mission:

The Department of Commerce creates the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.

info Themes:
General Science, Space, and Technology Commerce and Housing Credit International Affairs Natural Resources and Environment Management

Overview

The Department accomplishes its mission through direct assistance to businesses and communities, targeted investment in world-class research, science, technology, and more. The Secretary of Commerce leads the Department and its 12 bureaus with a budget of about $8.0 billion and nearly 47,000 employees worldwide.

The Department of Commerce helps American businesses drive economic growth and job creation in a number of critical areas:

  • Critical programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) support innovation and cutting-edge manufacturers which in turn create good-paying jobs.
  • Through protecting the intellectual property that sustains innovation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) contributes directly to strengthening America’s leadership in manufacturing. USPTO is currently implementing patent reform legislation that will help modernize the U.S. patent system.
  • The Economic Development Administration (EDA) invests in competitive, job-creating, advanced manufacturing projects and regional innovation clusters.
  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) supports the competitiveness of minority-owned firms.
  • By connecting U.S. businesses with opportunities abroad, the International Trade Administration (ITA) advances the goals of the National Export Initiative, works to remove trade barriers and promotes new business investment in the United States from foreign and domestic companies.
  • The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) improves our economic security through efforts to reform our outdated export control laws.
  • Critical to our competitiveness, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) expands broadband Internet access and ensures the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.
  • The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), including the Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), provide the economic and demographic data to evaluate growth, understand markets, and help American businesses make decisions for the future.
  • By providing data that supports marine commerce, sustainable use of ocean resources, and accurate weather and climate forecasting, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) supports sustainable communities and economies.

The Department issued an updated five-year strategic plan in June 2011 which outlines its strategic goals and objectives as well as the programs, strategies, and metrics used to achieve them and track their attainment.  The strategic plan is implemented through annual performance plans, which are integral elements of the Department's annual budget proposals.  Progress is documented through annual Performance and Accountability Reports.  The Department has also identified a limited number of priority goals that are a particular focus over the near-term.  Priority goals for FY 2012-2013 are outlined in a February 2012 addendum to the strategic plan (Appendix B).

The full set of the Department's planning, performance, and budget information is available at: http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/

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Strategic Goals & Objectives

Agencies establish a variety of organizational goals to drive progress toward key outcomes for the American people. Long-term strategic goals articulate clear statements of what the agency wants to achieve to advance its mission and address relevant national problems, needs, challenges and opportunities. Strategic objectives define the outcome or management impact the agency is trying to achieve, and also include the agency's role. Each strategic objective is tracked through a suite of performance goals, indicators and other evidence. Click here for more information on stakeholder engagement during goal development.

Strategic Goal:

Expand the U.S. economy through increased exports and inward foreign investment that lead to more and better American jobs

Expand the U.S. economy through increased exports and inward foreign investment that lead to more and better American jobs

Strategic Objectives

Strengthen fair competition in international trade for U.S. firms and workers by addressing and resolving foreign unfair trade practices and enforcing international trade agreements (ITA)

Efforts to enhance U.S. commercial competitiveness and maximize potential U.S. exports can be thwarted by unfair and injurious practices of foreign firms and their governments.  Only with a level playing field can U.S. companies strengthen and develop the capacity to expand into new markets or maintain market share at home and abroad.

 

As the federal agency charged with administering the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws, the Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) helps domestic manufacturers compete against unfairly traded imports into the United States.  ITA’s petition counseling unit helps U.S. workers and firms who assert damage from violations.  Focus is on assuring that small and medium-sized enterprises understand their rights and the requirements for filing a petition to initiate an investigation of possible foreign dumping and subsidization.  Once petitions seeking relief under the trade remedy laws are filed, ITA investigates the allegations. When imports are found to be dumped or subsidized and a cause of injury to U.S. industry, ITA instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect duties to offset the impact.

 

The Department also offers assistance to U.S. exporters and investors, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, by coordinating government resources to overcome trade barriers.  This assistance educates U.S. industry on international trade agreements that maintain open markets . ITA’s trade experts monitor foreign government compliance with the more than 250 trade agreements so companies, investors, and workers realize the benefits of the agreements.  Through its full range of legal, analytical, investigatory, trade policy, and commercial expertise, the Department provides robust and comprehensive services to help U.S. exporters confront, forestall, and resolve foreign unfair trade practices.

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Priority Goal: Companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve export objectives

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

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Increase high-impact inward foreign direct investment into the United States (ITA, ESA, EDA)

The United States has been the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment since 2006.  Every day, foreign companies establish new operations in the United States or provide additional capital to existing businesses.  With the world’s largest consumer market, skilled and productive workers, highly innovative culture, strong and effective legal system, predictable regulatory environment, and low cost energy resources, the United States has an attractive investment climate.  In addition, the nation’s strong commitment to environmental protection adds sustainability to U.S. assets.  To remain a premier investment destination, the United States must continue to nurture and build upon these strengths that make firms want to invest here.

 

Foreign direct investment in the United States contributes significantly to U.S. economic growth and prosperity.  In 2011, value added by majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies accounted for 4.7 percent of total U.S. private output.  These firms employed 5.6 million people in the United States, or 4.1 percent of private-sector employment.  The United States competes with countries that have aggressive national programs to encourage businesses to move to or expand within their own borders.  In response to this competition, President Obama announced a federal SelectUSA initiative in 2011.  Led by the Department, SelectUSA, involves multiple Department bureaus, includes other federal agencies, and works alongside U.S. states and localities to advocate aggressively for the United States as a premier destination.  This coordinated federal effort assures the global investment community that America is open for business.  Furthermore, Department advocacy is backed up by capacity building grants to help communities create an economic ecosystem in which the private sector can leverage regional and community assets to promote foreign investment.

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Priority Goal: Companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve export objectives

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

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Increase U.S. exports by broadening and deepening the U.S. exporter base (ITA, BIS, ESA, MBDA, EDA)

Recognizing the important role of exports to the U.S. economy, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in 2010.  U.S. exports have increased steadily since the launch of this initiative, reaching a record $2.2 trillion in 2012.  However, the nation still remains below its full export potential.  U.S. firms under-export compared to competitor industrialized nations.  Of the U.S. companies that do export merchandise, 58 percent export to only one market.  The International Monetary Fund forecasts that approximately 80 percent of world economic growth over the next five years (2014 – 2018) will take place outside of the United States.  Yet many small and medium-sized companies in the US, the engines of economic growth and innovation, rarely export.

 

The Department, through its programs, expertise, and global presence, is uniquely positioned to help U.S. companies understand the importance of exporting.  Department research and analyses can identify the best export opportunities for U.S. goods and services.  With offices located in more than 70 countries, 48 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., Department experts help U.S. companies access valuable market information, promote their products and services in target foreign markets, meet qualified international buyers and distributors, and overcome challenges and barriers when they do business overseas.  Moreover, the Secretary of Commerce, as chair of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, will lead the national export strategy, set priorities, and drive federal efforts to increase exports.

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Priority Goal: Companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve export objectives

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

Learn More

Increase opportunities for U.S. companies by opening markets globally (ITA, USPTO, NTIA, NOAA)

The strength of the U.S. economy continues to depend on competitive manufacturing and services sectors and a vibrant open global marketplace. Growth in key foreign markets will help drive global economic recovery. More than one billion new consumers worldwide will enter the middle class during the next 15 years, and their buying power will increase the consumption of goods and services worldwide.

 

As economies around the world grow, some foreign governments develop policies that create barriers to U.S. companies in those markets. Such trade barriers and other unfair trade practices cost U.S. companies billions of dollars in lost revenue. Trade barriers result not only in financial loss, but also limit the ability of U.S. companies to expand production, hire additional workers, or pursue investment opportunities. Studies indicate that trade openness has added between $800 billion to $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy since World War II, amounting to $7 thousand to $13 thousand per U.S. household.Removing the remaining trade barriers could result in an additional $400 billion to $1.3 trillion annually, or about an additional $4 thousand to $12 thousand per U.S. household.

 

The Department will deploy its policy and promotional tools to help U.S. firms compete for new opportunities globally. A renewed focus on global competitiveness will help strengthen the long-term health of U.S. industries and stimulate domestic job creation. The Department will also use its strong expertise on export promotion and industry-economic-country issues to conduct holistic analyses of U.S. trade issues and needs, make recommendations, and take actions.

Learn More

Priority Goal: Companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve export objectives

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

Learn More

Priority Goals

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

Learn More

Strategic Goal:

Foster a more innovative U.S. economy—one that is better at inventing, improving, and commercializing products and technologies that lead to higher productivity and competitiveness

Foster a more innovative U.S. economy—one that is better at inventing, improving, and commercializing products and technologies that lead to higher productivity and competitiveness

Strategic Objectives

Accelerate growth of innovation-intensive economic sectors by building public and private capacity to invent, improve, and commercialize new products and services. (NIST, USPTO, EDA)

In order for innovative products to enter and compete in the marketplace successfully, a robust scientific and technological infrastructure is required.  Fundamental research at the forefront of science provides the seeds for the development of new products and services.  Strong, responsive, and balanced intellectual property protection establishes an attractive environment for innovation and investment.  Policies that accelerate the rate of transfer of technologies from lab to market bolster the return on government investment in R&D.  Agreed upon ways to measure the performance and quality of new products against more established technologies provide the foundations of product interoperability and allow them to compete in the international marketplace.  By investing in knowledge transfer mechanisms that are critical to growing new companies and facilitating innovation, the Department promotes regional and community capacity to generate and take advantage of new ideas about products and processes.

 

The Department plays a central role in providing the foundation critical to the growth of high-value, innovative economic sectors.   NIST’s measurement science expertise creates the infrastructure necessary to measure the performance and quality of products and services.  USPTO programs enable innovators to accelerate the movement of new products and technologies to the marketplace.  And, EDA provides capacity-building grants to help foster an economic ecosystem in which the private sector can more effectively leverage regional and community assets to engage in commercialization.

Accelerate the development of industry-led skills strategies that result in a productive workforce for employers and high-quality jobs for workers. (NIST, EDA, ESA, Census)

A skilled and adaptable workforce is critical to U.S. global competitiveness and sustainable economic growth.  An employer-aligned, (i.e., demand-driven) comprehensive approach to skills development is essential to helping businesses across all sectors better access skilled workers to grow, innovate, and be more productive.  A skills strategy focused on industry-driven solutions helps address the difficulties many industries, particularly manufacturing, have in filling jobs requiring specific technical skills—even with many Americans still looking for work.

 

The Department is an honest broker for business and possesses the convening power, regional economic development expertise, and supply-chain-need analytical capability to highlight and address the workforce demands of growing industries.  In addition to supporting a National Economic Council-led effort to align federal agency initiatives to better serve industry demands, the Department programs will to the creation of a   strong pipeline of workers with in-demand skills.

Strengthen the Nation’s digital economy by championing policies that will maximize the potential of the Internet, expanding broadband capacity, and enhancing cybersecurity to provide a robust environment for innovation. (NIST, NTIA, USPTO)

The digital economy is the great engine of innovation and economic growth of the 21st century, and the Department is its principal defender and champion in the federal government.  The Internet engine that powers this vast marketplace of electronic goods and services was developed within the federal government.  But it has flourished in the private sector—where it should remain.

 

This extraordinary platform for innovation, growth, and social progress faces urgent policy questions that demand a thoughtful government response.  How can personal information and intellectual property be protected online?  How can the Nation’s critical digital infrastructure be defended from cyber-attacks?  How can high-speed and affordable Internet access for all Americans be ensured? And, how can these goals be achieved while preserving, here and around the world, the fundamentally open nature of the Internet, free from unnecessary regulation?

 

The Department has essential responsibility and a central role in answering these questions.  It advises the President on telecommunications issues and manages national spectrum resources needed for expanded high-speed broadband service.  It develops U.S. policy on online intellectual property protection and enforcement.  It oversees the development of voluntary industry cybersecurity and other online safety standards.  It houses FirstNet which is charged with building a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety users.  And, the Department represents the United States on Internet governance issues before international multi-stakeholder bodies.

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Priority Goal: Expand U.S. Broadband Infrastructure

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the nation's broadband infrastructure developed through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) from 78,120 miles at the end of FY 2012 to 118,000 miles.  When this goal is achieved, BTOP will connect 23,500 community anchor institution and will add 670,000 new household and business subscribers to broadband service.

Broadband access is essential to U.S. global competitiveness in the 21st century, driving job creation, promoting innovation, and expanding markets for American businesses. Broadband access also affords public safety agencies the opportunity for greater levels of effectiveness and interoperability.

 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) manages the implementation of BTOP to expand broadband service to communities in a cost-effective manner that maximizes impacts on economic growth, education, health care, and public safety. BTOP is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).After a rigorous application and review process, NTIA invested approximately $4 billion in 233 BTOP projects benefiting every state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Most of NTIA’s broadband grant investments, 123 grant awards totaling more than $3.48 billion, fund the construction or upgrade of approximately 110,000 miles of broadband networks and employ multiple technologies, including fiber-optics, wireless, and other technologies.

 

Network miles are a direct indicator of the nation’s growing broadband infrastructure, and represent both the increasing ability of underserved communities to contribute to America’s global competitiveness and the foundation for more affordable broadband services to homes and businesses. NTIA broadband grant investments will connect more than 24,000 community anchor institutions (e.g., libraries, hospitals, and schools), and add more than 650,000 new household and business subscribers to broadband service.

 

NTIA continues to monitor and provide guidance to grant recipients through technical assistance on refining methodologies for collecting data on new subscribers and accurately reporting that information. NTIA also collects reports from grant recipients regularly detailing performance and performs case reviews evaluating projects’ successes and challenges in meeting milestones.  These activities help NTIA understand the progress made by recipients and inform the provision of appropriate corrective actions and enforcement measures, if needed.

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Increase the capacity of U.S. regional economies to accelerate the production of value-added goods and services by providing services to and investments in businesses and communities. (NIST, EDA, MBDA, PTO)

American communities must position themselves to compete in the new economy.  However, communities with significant economic challenges may not have the knowledge or network needed to leverage their assets and identify opportunities.  To understand the needs of producers and attract and expand investment, they need partners and expert guidance.  The Department assists with strategic place-based investments that help create a productive industrial ecosystem.  This support includes resources for infrastructure, planning, and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity for innovation in manufacturing.  Technical assistance funding focuses on enhancing industry-required skills and identifying international supplier opportunities for small businesses.

 

The Department is dedicated to helping regional economies thrive and provides grants to state and local governments and non-profits in communities and regions suffering from economic distress.  Technical and business assistance is also provided to smaller manufacturers through partnerships between federal and state governments and non-profit organizations.  Some grants and services are specifically targeted to increasing the competitiveness of minority businesses. Through this multi-pronged approach, the Department is increasing the capacity of U.S. regional economies to produce value-added goods and services, increasing their competitiveness in the modern global economy.

Grow a more productive, agile, and high-value manufacturing sector through partnerships and collaborations that accelerate technology development and commercialization (NIST)

The U.S. manufacturing sector continues to be a mainstay of U.S. economic productivity, generating $1.9 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 (11.9 percent of total U.S. GDP).  Moreover, manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other major economic activity—$1 spent in manufacturing generates $1.35 in additional economic activity.  Despite the U.S. manufacturing sector’s apparent productivity, missed opportunities remain where the full economic and commercial value from investments in research are not realized.

 

The United States excels at basic science and invention.  But the commercial and economic rewards that emerge from these accomplishments are primarily realized only after discovery—especially at the points of manufacturing scale-up and commercialization.  This is particularly true for complex, cost-efficient, high-value-added products whose commercialization requires development and mastery of equally complex manufacturing processes.

 

As overall U.S. R&D efforts have begun to lag that of other nations, the composition of industrial R&D has shifted toward short-term research.  These trends leave industry's long-term needs unmet and ultimately undermine the nation's competitiveness.  The Department is ideally positioned to address these challenges through its unique convening power.  It will bring together public-private partnerships that can produce cutting edge research.  These partnerships with businesses will accelerate technology development and commercialization, and strengthen the nation’s position in the global competition for new products, new markets, and new jobs.  In addition, NIST is the only research laboratory in the U.S. government specifically focused on enhancing industrial competitiveness, including a robust research portfolio concentrated on the technical challenges particularly associated with advanced manufacturing.

Strategic Goal:

Ensure communities and businesses have the necessary information, products, and services to prepare for and prosper in a changing environment

Ensure communities and businesses have the necessary information, products, and services to prepare for and prosper in a changing environment

Strategic Objectives

Advance the understanding and prediction of changes in the environment through world class science and observations. (NOAA, NIST)

In order to meet the needs of communities and businesses in a changing environment, comprehensive and integrated observations and an improved understanding of the Earth system are needed.  To make this improved understanding useful to society, it must be employed in models and applications that are used in planning and decision making.

 

The Department has a tremendous diversity of world-leading capabilities supporting the research, development, and observations required for state-of-the-art models and applications critical to national well-being.  NOAA’s Five-year Research and Development Plan will advance innovative research that pushes the boundaries of scientific understanding, integrates information across scientific disciplines, and transitions new information and technology into improved products and services.  NOAA will strive to modernize observation systems of satellites and ships and maintain core observation system infrastructure. Also, NIST is working to develop reliable, internationally-accepted measurement standards and methodologies that are the basis for future-generation measurement and monitoring capabilities.  The Department will continue to work closely with its scientific partners to advance R&D to support the lives and livelihoods of the Nation’s citizens.

Strengthen the resiliency of communities and regions by delivering targeted services to build capacity. (NOAA, NIST, EDA, Census)

Many U.S. communities face significant environmental changes, natural disasters, or economic disruptions.  They need plans to reduce the effects, adapt to future changes, and support long-term recovery efforts.  A key component of these plans should be actionable information to aid in managing risk and in developing and evaluating options to adapt to and mitigate future environmental and economic change.  The Department has been an essential source of information needed to invigorate communities, ecosystems, and economies.

 

The Department will strengthen community-based resilience efforts.  It will promote preparedness, protect critical public resources, support science and research germane to preparedness and resilience, and ensure that federal operations continue to serve citizens in a changing climate.  The means to these ends will be building on a strong scientific foundation and decades of engagement with interagency, academic, and private sector partners.

Enable U.S. businesses to adapt and prosper by developing environmental and climate informed solutions.  (ITA, ESA, NIST, NOAA)

To survive and flourish, businesses must be able to adapt to the changing environment by balancing environmental, social, and economic concerns.   When businesses adopt processes and solutions that recognize the importance of the environment and climate, the results can include cost savings and new commercial products and services that improve profitability and competitiveness.  At the same time, the positive power and reach of business and markets will further our shared environmental, social, and economic goals for the health of the Nation.

 

The Department is uniquely equipped to develop and provide new environmental and climate informed services that help businesses enhance their value.  The Department’s capabilities in this area span a range of activities that help create new businesses, improve competitiveness, promote environmental goals, and provide important environmental information for decision making. Ultimately, the Department’s programs in this area can be leveraged to empower US companies and foster environmental and climate business solutions that benefit the Nation.

Improve preparedness, response, and recovery from weather and water events by building a Weather-Ready Nation. (NOAA, Census)

Weather affects almost every endeavor in the Nation.  Major industries and small businesses alike depend on weather, water, and climate information to make informed decisions and plan for the future.  Extreme events are becoming the norm.  Winter storms, flooding, drought, hurricanes, wildfires, extreme temperatures, and tornados can cost lives and billions of dollars in damage.  The steep increases in damaging weather-related events and associated societal impacts highlight the growing importance of weather, water, and climate information.  Urbanization, migration to coastal communities, and a growing population also increasingly put people and businesses at greater risk.

 

A Weather-Ready Nation is about building community preparedness in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events.  The Department will continue its critical role in protecting the lives, property, and the economy by providing valuable weather, water, and climate products and services.  This role will be expanded to embrace collaboration and seek new ways to create value beyond traditional forecasting activities.  Delivering enhanced weather, water, and climate information will help communities and businesses to be ready, responsive, and resilient.  Refining how the information is shared and ultimately used will make the U.S. that much more weather ready.

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Priority Goal: Improve Forecasting Accuracy and Lead Times for Severe Weather

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will improve its overall weather forecast model accuracy to 9 days which will enable more accurate, consistent, longer lead time for specific weather event forecasts and warnings.

Major weather events demonstrate the importance of hazard preparedness and response in the United States.  Improved weather forecast accuracy, combined with enhanced decision support services, allow emergency management and the American public more time to prepare for high-impact weather events.  This enables protection of life and property and enhancement of the U.S. economy.

 

A key way to measure improvements in model performance is to examine how far into the future Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) guidance demonstrates.  Model output ceases have useful skill at predicting the weather at longer forecast lengths.  Large scale weather patterns that affect the local weather that each of us experience on a daily basis, are driven by features in the mid-levels of the atmosphere.  During the past 20 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) has seen its ability to provide useful predictions of future high-impact weather events extend from 6 days to 8 days.

This goal focuses on improving the Global Forecast System model 2013 that currently has useful skill at forecasting the mid-levels of the atmosphere across the globe out to 8.0 days. Upon completion of forecasting upgrades over the next two years, the NWS expects to extend this out to 9 days.

Improving global weather prediction facilitates improvements to regional, local scale models that provide accurate information about the formation and movement of high impact storms in the right place at the right time.  Knowing with a good level of confidence that the storm is coming 5 days in advance enables for significantly improved response.  Evacuations from hurricanes require 3 full days, and thus accurate, consistent forecasts 4-7 days in advance are invaluable to people who have to make these critical decisions.  Increased lead time means lives saved and property protected.  NWS will also continue efforts to support the use of improved weather forecast data by emergency managers through better impact-based decision support services.  Achieving this priority goal will allow NWS to predict farther into the future and enable the American public to make the right choices when extreme weather threatens.

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Foster healthy and sustainable marine resources, habitats, and ecosystems through improved management and partnerships. (NOAA)

The ocean economy contributes more than $250 billion annually to the Nation’s economy, supports approximately 44 million jobs in coastal counties, and enhances diverse ocean-based communities.  The many economic, social, and environmental benefits that ocean ecosystems provide are jeopardized by global demands for seafood and energy, coastal development, increased tourism and recreational use.  Threats from climate change, ocean acidification, coastal wetland loss, and other environmental stressors are even more ominous.  They threaten human health and the domestic food supply.  They place greater stress on overexploited fish stocks, iconic marine species, and their habitats, and reduce ecosystem sustainability, biodiversity, and resilience.

 

Effective policy and management of human activities, based on strong science, partnerships, and technology, are essential to sustain healthy ocean resources, habitats, ecosystems and coastal communities.  The Department has strong legislative mandates and a pivotal role in sustaining marine fisheries and ecosystems, protecting sensitive areas and cultural heritage, and limiting the consequences of cumulative impacts.

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Priority Goal: Confirm elimination of Overfishing

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will confirm the elimination of overfishing on all 21 U.S. domestic stocks identified as subject to overfishing as of June 30, 2013 by comparing catch data relative to overfishing limits (OFLs).

The intended outcome of this is goal is to show that by implementing rigorous limits on annual catch, the U.S. can end and prevent overfishing of our fishery resources, a key step to ensuring the sustainable management of our nation’s fisheries.  Federal fishery management is based on the concept of maximum sustainable yield, which is the largest long-term average catch that can be taken from a stock under prevailing environmental and fishery conditions.  A stock that is subject to overfishing has a fishing mortality (harvest) rate higher than the rate that produces maximum sustainable yield. The amount of catch equivalent to this harvest rate is the overfishing limit (OFL).

 

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is the primary law that governs how fisheries are managed in U.S. federal waters.  When the Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized in 2007, it mandated that annual catch limits (ACLs) be put in place for all federally managed domestic fish stocks, with certain exceptions.  ACLs are set at a level below the OFL to account for scientific uncertainty and to reduce the risk of overfishing.  ACLs are in place for all fish stocks as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.  These catch limits should keep catch below the OFL and prevent overfishing on these stocks.  Preventing overfishing should increase the long-term economic and social benefits of the nation’s fisheries.

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Strategic Goal:

Improve government, business, and community decisions and knowledge by transforming Department data capabilities and supporting a data-enabled economy.

Improve government, business, and community decisions and knowledge by transforming Department data capabilities and supporting a data-enabled economy.             

Strategic Objectives

Collaborate with the business community to provide more timely, accurate, and relevant data products and services for all our customers (NOAA, ESA)

The demands for information change over time, reflecting the ever-changing nature of households, the economy, and our environment.  For instance, our economy has gone through tectonic shifts over the past several decades, moving towards a more service-based, internationally-connected, and digitally-enabled economy.  However, our data on these new, emerging portions of the economy have not kept pace.  Likewise, we are not meeting our customers’ demands for more detailed data products in smaller geographic areas, such as information on regional and local economies or their changing environments.  In many cases, the government has a responsibility to transform the data it collects into the most accessible and useable information possible to meet the needs of the public it serves.  In other cases, the government is not best positioned to fully satisfy these needs.  Consequently, many businesses have emerged to add value to available government data, transforming it in ways that help meet the vast and diverse public needs.  We want to encourage this trend.

 

By partnering with the business community and the private sector at large, we will generate new data products helping grow current businesses and catalyze the development of new businesses.  Through outreach to the business community and users, we will measure customer demand and determine what new data products to produce.  Generating these new products will be done in one of three ways, depending on the nature of what is needed:  (1) using in-house, traditional means and methods to produce new data products; (2) partnering with the private sector to couple its data with government data; or (3) providing government data in ways that are more useful to businesses and others so they can more easily combine it with their own private data resources.

 

Our business customers will be the first beneficiaries of this process.  But the 90,000 governmental entities and nearly 320 million Americans that we serve will benefit from the new data products and services that are fueled by our efforts.

Improve data based services, decision-making and data sharing within the Department and with other parts of the Federal Government. (ESA, BEA, ITA, BIS, Census)

The federal government collects vast amounts of data every day to support, protect, and defend the American public.  Data can and should be used to drive program excellence and sound decision-making within the federal government.  Data can be used more widely to help measure the efficacy of a wide variety of government assistance programs, allowing policy makers to make better and wiser choices on how best to spend limited resources.  In other cases, data can be better shared or combined between agencies to make government programs more informed and more efficient.

 

We realize that to be leaders in the data revolution, we must look to our own ways of doing business and push them forward – hard.  We cannot lead without reforming ourselves.  In short, we must practice what we preach.

 

This strategic objective includes re-evaluating the relative usefulness of the data Commerce collects and whether that data is being used to support evidenced-based program management decisions within the government.  For example, Commerce intends to use its existing data, along with data obtained from other Federal agencies, to help design the 2020 Census and potentially save billions of dollars.  Making more and better use of data will require the ability to combine different data from different agencies to create new, more useful data products, and sharing data across agencies.

 

Our customers demand efficiency.  Businesses, governments, and the public at large will benefit from the enhanced value of our data products and services and from the resultant savings.  Businesses and the public will see reduced demands for information, lessening their concerns about survey response burdens, confidentiality of data, and privacy.

Transform the Department’s data capacity to enhance the value, accessibility and usability of Commerce data for government, business and the public. (ESA, NOAA, NIST, NTIS)

The Department of Commerce collects, stores, and analyzes a treasure trove of data, including data on the economy, our population, and our environment.  This data is fundamental to our mission and is used for the protection of life and property and to enhance economic growth.  However, the capacity to analyze and disseminate all that data is significantly constrained.  To meet these needs, Commerce data must be accessible, useable, reliable, and comprehensive.

 

 Barriers to accessing and using the data must be minimized in order to realize the potential value of the data Commerce collects, stores, and disseminates,.  There are differing standards, methodologies, operations, infrastructures, websites, architecture, platforms, and formats that make it difficult to access, find, use, and combine data sets.  Commerce will undertake a comprehensive effort to improve the interoperability of our own data, both through internally-adopted standards and Commerce-wide efforts to better integrate our own data and making Commerce data more accessible and usable to the public.  Consistent with privacy and security considerations, Commerce is firmly committed to unleashing its untapped data resources in ways that best support downstream information access, processing, analytics, and dissemination.

 

 

Partnering with the private sector will increase the capacity of Commerce to release raw scientific and climate data that cannot be cost-effectively disseminated by the Federal government under current resource constraints.  Public-private commitments to adhere to sets of common standards and architectures could also result in a powerful data platform that would help provide more widespread access to public data in usable forms.  However, this infrastructure and its enabling standards will only work if they are developed collaboratively between the public and private sectors, partnering with each other.  This increased openness and interoperability needs to start in house.  Commerce will undertake a comprehensive effort to improve the interoperability of our own data, both through internally–adopted standards and Commerce-wide efforts to better integrate our own data.

 

In sum, Commerce will lead efforts to make sure government data is accessible in ways to make our businesses more competitive, our governments smarter, and our citizens more informed.

Strategic Goal:

Deliver better services, solutions, and outcomes that benefit the American people.

Deliver better services, solutions, and outcomes that benefit the American people.

Strategic Objectives

 Strengthen organizational capabilities to drive customer-focused, outcomes-driven mission performance. (OS, All Bureaus)

This objective focuses on the high-priority, cross-cutting (people, technology, and management) initiatives that are critical to mission success.  First and foremost, the success of the Department depends on an engaged workforce that benefits from meaningful work, clear organizational direction, and a culture of excellence in serving customers and delivering results.  Second, success during a time of rapidly-evolving technology is achieved only when employees have the right technology tools and information to do their job effectively.  Third success requires managing for results, using an evidence-based metrics to align and optimize programs, people and resources in executing the strategic plan.

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Agency Priority Goals

An Agency Priority Goal is a near-term result or achievement that agency leadership wants to accomplish within approximately 24 months that relies predominantly on agency implementation as opposed to budget or legislative accomplishments. Click below to see this agency's Priority Goals.

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the percentage of companies assisted by Global Markets that achieve their export objectives to 71 percent.

Exports are important to fostering U.S. economic prosperity. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing high-quality assistance that helps U.S. companies achieve their export objectives. This priority goal focuses on improving the quality of assistance ITA’s trade and commercial specialists provide to companies. ITA’s delivery of substantive, high value-added assistance is affirmed when companies receiving this assistance respond that they have achieved their export objectives.

 

This increased emphasis on improving the quality of services provided is representative of ITA’s shift in focus and strategy as the organization embarked on a major consolidation, which took effect October 1, 2013. This consolidation combined ITA’s largest business unit, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), with the Market Access and Compliance unit to form a new unit called Global Markets. Global Markets is the business unit responsible for achieving this priority goal.

 

With the launch of the new Global Markets business unit, it is imperative that Global Markets staff worldwide – all of whom interact with U.S. companies – are unified behind a common goal that focuses on the customer’s unique needs. The FY12 – FY13 baseline average percentage of companies assisted that achieved their export objectives is 67 percent for ITA’s fee-for-service clients. To achieve this priority goal, Global Markets will seek to understand individual U.S. company needs to be successful internationally and, subsequently, offer a customized approach that draws on the full resources available across ITA and the federal government to meet those needs. This strategic shift towards offering a more consultative approach steers ITA professionals toward identifying the problems and challenges with exporting, and designing holistic solutions for those problems. It focuses ITA on engaging with clients to offer substantive, high value-added assistance, such as helping companies select the best markets to enter, overcoming trade barriers they encounter when exporting, or finding suitable international business partners.

 

Possible barriers and challenges to achieving this priority goal include an outdated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  ITA is currently in the process of replacing this system with one that will better allow tracking of activities in support of this goal. Also, focusing ITA’s Global Markets’ field staff on this new priority goal while implementing concurrently recent organizational changes may pose a challenge.

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By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will increase the nation's broadband infrastructure developed through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) from 78,120 miles at the end of FY 2012 to 118,000 miles.  When this goal is achieved, BTOP will connect 23,500 community anchor institution and will add 670,000 new household and business subscribers to broadband service.

Broadband access is essential to U.S. global competitiveness in the 21st century, driving job creation, promoting innovation, and expanding markets for American businesses. Broadband access also affords public safety agencies the opportunity for greater levels of effectiveness and interoperability.

 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) manages the implementation of BTOP to expand broadband service to communities in a cost-effective manner that maximizes impacts on economic growth, education, health care, and public safety. BTOP is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).After a rigorous application and review process, NTIA invested approximately $4 billion in 233 BTOP projects benefiting every state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Most of NTIA’s broadband grant investments, 123 grant awards totaling more than $3.48 billion, fund the construction or upgrade of approximately 110,000 miles of broadband networks and employ multiple technologies, including fiber-optics, wireless, and other technologies.

 

Network miles are a direct indicator of the nation’s growing broadband infrastructure, and represent both the increasing ability of underserved communities to contribute to America’s global competitiveness and the foundation for more affordable broadband services to homes and businesses. NTIA broadband grant investments will connect more than 24,000 community anchor institutions (e.g., libraries, hospitals, and schools), and add more than 650,000 new household and business subscribers to broadband service.

 

NTIA continues to monitor and provide guidance to grant recipients through technical assistance on refining methodologies for collecting data on new subscribers and accurately reporting that information. NTIA also collects reports from grant recipients regularly detailing performance and performs case reviews evaluating projects’ successes and challenges in meeting milestones.  These activities help NTIA understand the progress made by recipients and inform the provision of appropriate corrective actions and enforcement measures, if needed.

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Agency Priority Goal:

Confirm elimination of Overfishing

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will confirm the elimination of overfishing on all 21 U.S. domestic stocks identified as subject to overfishing as of June 30, 2013 by comparing catch data relative to overfishing limits (OFLs).

The intended outcome of this is goal is to show that by implementing rigorous limits on annual catch, the U.S. can end and prevent overfishing of our fishery resources, a key step to ensuring the sustainable management of our nation’s fisheries.  Federal fishery management is based on the concept of maximum sustainable yield, which is the largest long-term average catch that can be taken from a stock under prevailing environmental and fishery conditions.  A stock that is subject to overfishing has a fishing mortality (harvest) rate higher than the rate that produces maximum sustainable yield. The amount of catch equivalent to this harvest rate is the overfishing limit (OFL).

 

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is the primary law that governs how fisheries are managed in U.S. federal waters.  When the Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized in 2007, it mandated that annual catch limits (ACLs) be put in place for all federally managed domestic fish stocks, with certain exceptions.  ACLs are set at a level below the OFL to account for scientific uncertainty and to reduce the risk of overfishing.  ACLs are in place for all fish stocks as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.  These catch limits should keep catch below the OFL and prevent overfishing on these stocks.  Preventing overfishing should increase the long-term economic and social benefits of the nation’s fisheries.

Learn More

By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will improve its overall weather forecast model accuracy to 9 days which will enable more accurate, consistent, longer lead time for specific weather event forecasts and warnings.

Major weather events demonstrate the importance of hazard preparedness and response in the United States.  Improved weather forecast accuracy, combined with enhanced decision support services, allow emergency management and the American public more time to prepare for high-impact weather events.  This enables protection of life and property and enhancement of the U.S. economy.

 

A key way to measure improvements in model performance is to examine how far into the future Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) guidance demonstrates.  Model output ceases have useful skill at predicting the weather at longer forecast lengths.  Large scale weather patterns that affect the local weather that each of us experience on a daily basis, are driven by features in the mid-levels of the atmosphere.  During the past 20 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) has seen its ability to provide useful predictions of future high-impact weather events extend from 6 days to 8 days.

This goal focuses on improving the Global Forecast System model 2013 that currently has useful skill at forecasting the mid-levels of the atmosphere across the globe out to 8.0 days. Upon completion of forecasting upgrades over the next two years, the NWS expects to extend this out to 9 days.

Improving global weather prediction facilitates improvements to regional, local scale models that provide accurate information about the formation and movement of high impact storms in the right place at the right time.  Knowing with a good level of confidence that the storm is coming 5 days in advance enables for significantly improved response.  Evacuations from hurricanes require 3 full days, and thus accurate, consistent forecasts 4-7 days in advance are invaluable to people who have to make these critical decisions.  Increased lead time means lives saved and property protected.  NWS will also continue efforts to support the use of improved weather forecast data by emergency managers through better impact-based decision support services.  Achieving this priority goal will allow NWS to predict farther into the future and enable the American public to make the right choices when extreme weather threatens.

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By September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce will reduce patent pendency for first action and total pendency from the end of FY 2012 levels of 21.9 and 32.4 months to 15.7 and 26.4 months; as well as reduce the unexamined patent application backlog of 608,300 to 534,900.  Additionally, the patent quality composite score will be improved from 72.4 percent to 100 percent of the FY 2015 target.

American innovators and businesses rely on the legal rights associated with patents in order to reap the benefits of their innovations. Timely issuance of high-quality patents provides certainty in the market and allows businesses and innovators to make informed, timely decisions on product and service development. Processing patent applications in a quality and timely manner advances economic prosperity by using intellectual property (IP) as a tool to create a business environment that cultivates and protects new ideas, technologies, services and products.

On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Pub. L. No. 112-29) was signed into law. This sweeping reform introduced some of the biggest changes to the patent system in 200 years.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has implemented the first phases of this law and will continue to identify and implement the efficiencies, tools, and policies necessary to increase the number of applications it is capable of examining while also improving quality.

 

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