Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

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U.S. Exporters: ITA Innovators are Here to Help!

March 14, 2014

Aileen Crowe Nandi is a Commercial Officer in San Jose California

As exporters’ needs change, we at ITA must adapt with them. The U.S. government – and our clients – faces myriad issues on a daily basis that require customized solutions. From helping a shipment of apples clear customs in South India to resolving a biotech regulatory barrier in Europe to assisting a small cloud reseller land deals in Ghana, we regularly tweak our services to assist each company with its unique set of issues. A “one-size-fits-all” technique does not apply to international trade.

To capitalize on our entrepreneurial objectives and to share and communicate even better across the Commercial Service (CS) – an organization spanning 100 domestic offices and 72 countries– we launched the Crowdsource (CS2) initiative. CS2 is designed to engage more employees at all levels by enabling them to propose and vote on ideas to change and/or improve how we help U.S. exporters. The winning ideas are then brought to senior agency leaders.

We structured CS2 as a quarterly “Pitchfest” competition, taking a cue from the dynamic venture capital industry. Colleagues are encouraged to submit short written, innovative proposals which are subsequently “crowdsourced” in a democratic voting process. The top three ideas then move on to an oral pitchfest.

The CS2 team, comprised of two International Trade Specialists (Melissa Branzburg, Boston, and Shari Stout, Peoria) and two Commercial Officers (Marianne Drain and myself), represents both the international and domestic units of our organization. Additionally, we have a cross-section of colleagues from HQ and the field (as far as Australia) to serve as “Interested Innovators” to judge the oral pitches to determine the final winner.

We began with the “B2B” theme, as it impacts the very core of how we help U.S. exporters. With fourteen B2B proposals and over 200 voters, the winning idea from the B2B pitchfest was the “Initial Market Check” (IMC), submitted by Heather Ranck in our North Dakota Export Assistance Center.

The IMC entails a fee-based service that would enable exporters to gain critical market insights for individual American companies (in the form of a short report) to determine whether to further pursue export opportunities in a given market. Though Heather had already been innovatively undertaking IMCs for her North Dakota clients, we are working with HQ to formalize the service to allow all colleagues to conduct IMCs for all exporters. Stay tuned for updates!

Our next pitchfest on “Commercial Intelligence” will take place on April 29th. What kind of commercial intelligence do YOU want from ITA? Your input will ensure that we are well positioned to facilitate your success in international markets.

With your input we can better provide the services you need to help your businesses succeed. We look forward to hearing your great ideas!

Aileen Nandi

Melissa Branzburg

Shari Stout

Marianne Drain

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Under Secretary Sánchez to Speak on Panel for Technology-Based Global Innovation

January 31, 2013

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Tyler Braswell is an intern for the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. He is studying International Business and attends George Washington University.

The Digital Age is upon us. The effect of digital technology on the global market has been well documented as technology-based companies continue to supply the world with innovative methods and products that increase the quality and efficiency of American lives and businesses.  The creation of jobs due to new technology as well as the continued financial success of technology-based firms has made the promotion of technology-based innovation a top priority for any economy looking to compete internationally.

President Obama’s plan to make high-speed wireless services available to 98% of Americans will make technology-based software and products even more accessible to American consumers. As technology is integrated more deeply into society, the U.S. is working to ensure that these integrations directly translate to domestic economic growth.

On Feb. 4, Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, will participate in an event hosted by the Information Technology Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The ITIF is a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to help American policymakers better understand the nature of a new innovation-driven economy.

The ITIF discussion panel will focus on the increase in global competition to host technology-based firms and the benefits that hosting such companies can have on a country’s economy. The event will also feature information on how countries attract technology-based firms and what the U.S. has done to improve its appeal to those firms. The Under Secretary will be joined on the panel by the general counsels for NCR and Qualcomm.

Sánchez and the panel will answer questions from industry participants concerning the advantages currently offered to firms that choose to do business within the United States.

The Under Secretary will also provide information on certain policies the U.S. has enacted to promote technology-based industry within the U.S. as well as trade agreements designed to benefit American companies.

The U.S. is actively advancing trade agreements and initiatives to broaden market access. Technology-based firms will be among the primary beneficiaries. Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help technology-based firms by expanding access to key Asian markets and removing bans on border crossing data-flows.

American leaders—both in government and business—appreciate that supporting technology-based firms is necessary to achieve President Obama’s goal of increasing our exports and re-balancing our economy, which are embedded in the National Export Initiative. This event will reaffirm the International Trade Administration’s commitment to increase exports, further the global expansion of domestic businesses, and attract new technology-based industries to the U.S. economy.

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