Innovations being developed at California Technical Institute and Oak Ridge National Lab received acclaim from President Obama in last night’s State of the Union address. Obama recognized these research centers as crucial players in the nation’s goal to solve the country’s energy crisis.

In his speech he stated:

“… if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time. At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

Obama was specifically referring to research I reported on last month, where Caltech’s Sossina Haile and her research team developed a prototype device that directly converts sun rays into fuels that can be stored.