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June 24, 2011

Obama: Tech Innovations Can Spur Job Growth

U.S. President Barack Obama is calling for a renewed emphasis on cutting-edge research and technological advances as a way to spur the country's sluggish job growth.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama said a new partnership he has launched that joins governmental, university and corporate interests will seek to quickly transform ideas into useful products, helping to create quality jobs and make U.S. businesses more competitive.

He said he is committed to working with both Republicans and Democrats to cut the country's burgeoning budget deficits. But he said as a country, "[we] can't simply cut our way to prosperity." He said investment in research and technologies is necessary to create new jobs in clean energy and advanced manufacturing.

He gave the address at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where on Friday he watched a display of mini-robots that explore water and sewer pipes looking for leaks and cracks. He said such innovative technology helps "renew the promise of American manufacturing."

Lately, Obama has visited a variety of businesses to cite their commercial ventures as a path toward toward spurring economic growth. But, as Mr. Obama faces a re-election contest in 2012, polls indicate that voters give him their weakest approval ratings for his handling of the American economy, the world's largest. The country's unemployment rate has hovered at about 9 percent for the last two years.

In the Republican address Saturday, Representative Renee Elmers of North Carolina said a better path to job growth would include reduced governmental regulations, expanded domestic energy production and a requirement that the government consider the effect of federal rules on hiring.

She said that business people she knows are simply asking that government get "out of the way."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.