Commerce Secretary Alerts Feds Might Make investments In Pittsburgh’s Bid To Turn out to be Self-Driving Powerhouse

As commerce and expertise talks between the U.S. and the European Union got here to a detailed in Pittsburgh Thursday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated EU leaders left the town “blown away by what they noticed.”

“Anybody who involves Pittsburgh and sees it, it isn’t only one robotics firm. It isn’t simply that [Carnegie Mellon University] is right here. It is a vibrant and deep ecosystem of expertise innovation,” Raimondo informed reporters.

She spoke at North Aspect-based Astrobotic, an area robotics agency that was based in 2007 by researchers at Carnegie Mellon.

The gathering of world leaders this week in Pittsburgh marked the primary assembly of the U.S.-EU Commerce and Expertise Council, which fashioned in June. Raimondo and Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai led the U.S. delegation and have been joined by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The council convened at Hazelwood Inexperienced on Wednesday. The 2 powers agreed to proceed discussing a spread of subjects, together with expertise requirements, local weather change, tariffs and tensions with China.

Raimondo stated she selected Pittsburgh because the assembly website to spotlight the town’s expertise sector.

“I’m a believer in how unbelievably progressive, productive and modern that Pittsburgh is,” she stated.

Pittsburgh has change into a middle for the autonomous mobility sector, thanks largely to technological breakthroughs at native universities. As we speak, the area is residence to about 70 companies or company divisions specializing in autonomous programs equivalent to these present in self-driving automobiles, in accordance with a latest research.

Native enterprise leaders have proposed investing greater than $150 million in private and non-private funds to facilitate additional progress of the sector.

Raimondo voiced assist for that technique Thursday, and she or he famous that her company might kick in among the cash: This summer season, the commerce division launched a $1 billion competitors for areas that search to change into trade hubs. Particular person areas might win as much as $100 million.

“Pittsburgh would, I feel, have a wonderful story to inform, that you just must be an … autonomous mobility tech hub,” she stated.

Raimondo famous that autonomous tech corporations might assist to create jobs all through the area’s financial system by, for instance, utilizing native producers for elements.

“And so [President Joe Biden is] calling for large investments in apprenticeships, job coaching, investments in tech hubs the place we pull collectively improvements popping out of faculties and universities and switch them into merchandise that we make in America, which is what you might be doing right here in Pittsburgh,” Raimondo stated.

Whether or not that funding materializes might rely on the destiny of the $3.5 trillion funds reconciliation invoice pending earlier than Congress. Democrats stay divided over the price of the laws, which seeks to strengthen the social security internet.

President Biden initially included funding for workforce coaching in his $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bundle. However the Senate scrapped these provisions when it handed the invoice in August.

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