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DuPont CEO: Unique Opportunity for Transformation in U.S.
Tuesday December 2, 3:08 pm ET

Holliday Addresses Detroit Economic Club

DETROIT, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Citing population growth as the fundamental driver in the new global economic reality, DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr. today said this is a unique time for transformation and called on the United States to improve its global competitiveness by setting specific goals and then driving to achieve them in definite timeframes. Holliday spoke today at the Detroit Economic Club.

In his remarks, Holliday called on the U.S. government to consider a Manhattan-style project for the 21st century that would deliver both a reduced dependence on oil and a cleaner energy future. He called it the "Detroit Project," a national program to develop a new, energy-efficient vehicle. The new vehicle would be designed with the highest safety and environmentally responsible standards in mind with a goal of delivering vehicle designs that achieve 75 miles per gallon. Funding for the program could come from a U.S. savings bonds program to stimulate U.S. personal savings and provide financing for U.S. infrastructure investments like the Detroit Project. This savings bond program is an initiative suggested by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

"The Detroit Project would redeploy the best, most dedicated people to a project that would deliver in less than two years a critical factor in the successful rejuvenation of the U.S. economy," Holliday said. "DuPont would be interested in participating in a project like this and we know other companies would join as well."

"The new reality is characterized by increased demand for natural resources while availability is decreasing," Holliday said. "Growth in demand for consumer durables, coupled with infrastructure needs in large, formerly constrained economies, is having an impact on both natural resources and food. The cost of everything that comes out of the ground has increased.

"As industries shift to address the new reality, innovative, science-based products that provide the solutions must lead the way. Speed, agility and transformative science are needed today as never before. Success during this time is ultimately going to come down to two very key concepts: sustainability and competitiveness. Without sustainability, it will be hard for a business to remain competitive in the new reality.

"If all of us with a stake in the auto industry join forces in a compelling way, we believe we can create a car of the future that could positively impact two things we care about today: the environment and the economy."

Holliday discussed two sustainable mobility programs at DuPont designed to help car manufacturers transform automobiles. First, in an effort to put more power to the wheel with the least amount of energy used, DuPont provides the auto industry several lightweighting materials including new nanometal-polymer hybrid materials. The ultimate goal, Holliday said, is electrification of the vehicle or a move away from the internal combustion engine. For this DuPont has programs in the areas of high temperature battery separators for electric/hybrid vehicles and materials that help in the development of better, lighter, more efficient energy storage options.

With Holliday as its chairman, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, released a report last month detailing how the U.S. can recapture its competitiveness. The Compete Agenda asks the U.S. government to transform its approach to workforce training, invest heavily in research and development, launch a national savings bond program to raise capitol for next-generation infrastructure and enact the Council's 100 Day Action Plan on Energy.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Source: DuPont

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