President Obama says 'solar cells you can brush onto a house for the same cost as paint' are real
President Obama announced the launch of "an all-hands-on-deck" technology partnership Friday at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center.
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership is a $500-million investment to bring together businesses, universities and government to invest in emerging technologies.
"This new partnership that we’ve created will make sure tomorrow’s breakthroughs are American breakthroughs," Obama said to an audience that included university presidents and 150 manufacturing CEOs.
"We’re teaming up to foster the kind of collaborative R&D that resulted in those same early discoveries, and to create the kind of innovation infrastructure necessary to get ideas from the drawing board to the manufacturing floor to the market more rapidly –- all of which will make our businesses more competitive and create new, high-quality manufacturing jobs."
Although most of the monies will probably be used to develop boring technology like high-powered batteries, Obama asked the audience to day dream a little.
"Imagine if America was first to develop and mass-produce a new treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched; or solar cells you can brush onto a house for the same cost as paint; or flexible display soldiers -- flexible displays that soldiers can wear on their arms; or a car that drives itself. Imagine how many workers and businesses and consumers would prosper from those breakthroughs," the president said.
"Those things aren’t science fiction –- they’re real. They’re being developed and deployed in labs and factories and on test tracks right now. They sprang from the imagination of students and scientists and entrepreneurs like all of you. And the purpose of this partnership is to prove that the United States of America has your back, is going to be supporting you -- because that’s the kind of adventurous, pioneering spirit that we need right now," Obama said.
-- Tony Pierce
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Photo: President Obama delivers remarks after a tour of the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Credit: Pete Souza / White House