SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you.


Report Identifies 50 Critical Scientific Breakthroughs for Sustainable Development

February 26, 2015

There are 50 areas of need for paradigm-shaping breakthrough technologies that would help stimulate sustainable global development, according to a new report from the Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab – The 50 Breakthroughs Study. The authors contend that decisionmakers, funding organizations, impact investors, and inventors should focus on developing transformative, breakthrough technologies in these areas instead of supporting incremental technologies.

Useful Stats: Share of U.S. Venture Capital Investment by State, 2009-2014

February 26, 2015

California-based companies received about 56 percent of all U.S. venture capital dollars in 2014, the state's highest share of venture activity since the dot com boom of the early 2000s. Over the past 15 years, investment activity has steadily become more concentrated in California and a few other states. In 2009, about 67 percent of all deals and 74 percent of venture capital dollars flowed to the top five states. By 2014, those states' share of venture dollars grew to 80 percent, according to NVCA/Pricewaterhouse Coopers data.

FCC Clears Way for Municipal Broadband

February 26, 2015

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to classify broadband as a public utility. Once rules have been put in place this summer, providers will no longer be able to selectively block access to legal content, throttle access based on content or services or offer paid prioritization of traffic. In addition, the FCC also voted to preempt state laws that impair the deployment of community broadband providers.

Tracking Educational Outcomes, the Great Recession

February 26, 2015

The Signature Report, an annual report on college completion conducted by researchers at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and Indiana University’s Project on Academic Success, identifies six-year student success outcomes and college completion rates by state for the cohort that began post-secondary education in fall 2008.

Pew Distills Best Practices in Evaluating Economic Development Tax Incentives

February 26, 2015

Although every state delivers tax incentives for economic development, there are numerous inconsistencies in how these incentives are evaluated.

NSF Awarded $6.8B for Research, STEM Education in FY14

February 26, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was appropriated $7.2 billion in FY14 (not including mandatory accounts) of which over $6.8 billion (nearly 95 percent of NSF’s total appropriations) was used to support research and education awards. Over 1,800 institutions of higher education and other organizations received funding from NSF including 11,000 competitively reviewed awards according to a report released by the NSF.  Other highlights include:

$3M Competition Launched for Tech-Enabled Financial Solutions to Manage Household Budgets

February 26, 2015

The Financial Solutions Lab – a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. – released its funding competition focused on tech-enabled financial solutions for managing household budgets.

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Awards $3M for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

February 19, 2015

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced last week that it has awarded a combined $3 million in grants to 20 non-profit organizations around the world dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting high growth entrepreneurs. Now in the third year of its five-year, $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative, this year’s funding was granted to 14 new organizations and six organizations from last year’s pool of winners.

CT, IL, NH, TX Budget Proposals Support STEM, Workforce, Research

February 19, 2015

This week, governors in Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Texas revealed their budget proposals, with commonalities around STEM education, workforce development, and university research initiatives. Governors in two states, New Hampshire and Texas, made growth in the innovation economy a specific priority area of their proposed budgets.

U.S. Millennials Rank Among Lowest-Skilled Tech Workers in the World

February 19, 2015

Despite having a higher rate of educational attainment than any previous generation, U.S. millennials (between 16-34 years of age) ranked lower than most of their international peers in literacy, mathematics and technology problem solving in a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Those born in the U.S. after 1980 tied for last among the 22 participating countries in numeracy and technology skills, and 16th in literacy.

MA Adopts Crowdfunding Exemption; Is AZ Next?

February 19, 2015

Less than two months into 2015, Massachusetts and potentially Arizona will join the growing number of states that have adopted intrastate crowdfunding exemptions – one of the emerging trends in economic development from 2014.  In January, the Massachusetts Securities Division adopted a crowdfunding exemption that will allow businesses to raise up to $2 million in equity from both accredited and non-accredited investors.  A similar exemption was introduced in early February

Have State Stem Cell Programs Been Effective in Boosting Research?

February 19, 2015

Over the past decade stem cell research has been touted as a game-changer in the life sciences and a potential fount of new biomedical innovations. As a result, several states have launched targeted programs to support stem cell research, despite the controversy that tends to surround the field. New research suggests that these programs have been effective at increasing the output of researchers in their respective states.

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