President Barack Obama has issued a challenge to inventors, as well as investors, to put their minds to work for the future of the American economy.

Speaking to a gathering of academics and green business owners in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Monday, Obama said that innovation would create the jobs that will drive America's growth.

Innovators like you are creating the jobs that will foster our recovery and creating the technologies that will power our long-term prosperity, he said. It's said that necessity is the mother of invention. At this moment of necessity, we need you.

He added, Your country needs you to create new jobs and lead new industries. Your country needs you to mount a historic effort to end once and for all our dependence on foreign oil.

Obama also pledged his administration's support for the effort, noting that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $59 billion to be invested in clean energy and in tax incentives to promote clean energy.

In this difficult endeavor, in this pursuit on which I believe our future depends, your country will support you, he said. Your President will support you.

He added, We have a choice. We can choose to do what we've done. We can leave these problems for the next budget or the next administration, but more likely for the next generation.

But we've seen the consequences of this failure to take responsibility, this failure to seize the moment, Obama said.

The consequences, Obama said, were seen in increased dependence on foreign oil, a boom-and-bust cycle of the economy and even in rising health care costs.

In other words, we've seen enough, he said. We can remain the world's leading importer of foreign oil, or we can become the world's leading exporter of renewable energy. We can allow climate change to wreck unnatural havoc, or we can create jobs preventing its worst effects. We can hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors, or we can create those jobs right here in America.

Obama added that he plans to make the research and development tax credit permanent so Congress does not need to reauthorize the program every year.

This is a tax credit that returns $2 to the economy for every dollar we spend, Obama said. Under my budget, this tax credit will no longer fall prey to the whims of politics and partisanship. It will be far more effective when businesses like yours can count on it, when you've got some stability and reliability.

He added, Often it takes not just the commitment of an innovator, but the commitment of a country to innovation. Often, what's required is the support of government, recognizing that our future is what we make of it. Our future is what we build it to be.

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