President Joe Biden made the less than two-mile trip from the White House to The Showroom in Washington on Tuesday to tour science and technology demonstrations.
The event was pitched by the White House as a “Demo Day” to showcase the innovation spurred by Biden’s economic agenda and his support for federal investments in research and development. The federal government, under the Biden administration, is investing more than $200 billion in research and development this year, according to the White House.
The president toured exhibits set up in the event space on topics ranging from prosthetic arms to heat pumps. The White House says the technology for the prosthetic arm was started at DARPA – the agency within the Pentagon created to spur innovation in emerging technologies for military use to support our national security.
In total, the White House says more than 40 innovations were on display at Tuesday’s event.
Meanwhile, the president spent several minutes speaking with an exhibitor from Nautilus Live, which was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard – the oceanographer and marine geologist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic nearly 40 years ago, according to its website. Nautilus Live, operated by a non-profit organization Ocean Exploration Trust, seeks to find new ways to pursue and conduct ocean exploration.
Biden was seen inquiring about the different species shown in an underwater video displayed at the exhibit. Chief Operating Officer for the Ocean Exploration Trust Allison Fundis told the president the trust does “a lot of educational outreach” and noted she herself “started as a high school teacher.”
Eight years ago, former President Barack Obama held what his administration billed as “the first-ever White House Demo Day.” The former president brought together more than 30 “startup founders from diverse walks of life and from across the country to showcase their innovations,” according to a White House fact sheet dated Aug. 4 2015. Obama’s demo day was held at the White House.