SSTI Digest

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


IA Strategic Plan Focuses on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Industry Clusters

December 18, 2014

Gov. Terry Branstad announced the release of the findings from the Iowa’s Re-envisioned Economic Development Roadmap  – a year-long effort to set a future strategic direction for economic development in Iowa. During the year-long study, the authors from Battelle examined the current position of Iowa’s economy as compared to the nation and benchmarked states.

Fewer Postdoctoral Researchers Employed at Federally Funded R&D Centers in 2013

December 18, 2014

In fall 2013, 21 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) in the U.S. employed 2,613 postdoctoral researchers in 2012, down 6.4 percent from the previous year, according to a recently released InfoBrief from the National Science Foundation. Postdocs, who help government agencies meet their research and analytic needs and in turn receive relevant training and experience, are more than 75 percent male and more than 50 percent international, according to the brief.

As Tuition Rates Rise, State Funding for Public Colleges Decrease, According to GAO Report

December 18, 2014

Funding for public colleges decreased by 12 percent overall from FY03 to FY12, while tuition rates for all public colleges rose by 55 percent during the same time, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Driven in part by the impact of the recent recession on state budgets, the decline in state funding has had a significant impact on college affordability for students and their family.

Useful Stats: Federal Obligations for Science & Engineering to Universities and Colleges

December 18, 2014

A total of $30.8 billion for science and engineering (S&E) was given by federal agencies to 1,073 academic institutions across the United States in FY 2012, according to new research from the National Science Foundation. Although these obligations are 2 percent less than they were the year before, commitments to science and engineering increased more than 9 percent from 2007 to 2012. During that same time, per capita commitments to academic S&E decreased 7 percent.

NY Launches $50M Innovation Venture Capital Fund

December 18, 2014

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund (NYSIVC or The Fund), a $50 million fund that is expected to leverage at least $100 million in private capital to support early stage companies in high growth areas such as advanced materials, clean technology, life sciences/biotechnology, and information technology.

NY, IN Pursue Regional Strategies to Fuel High-Tech Economy

December 18, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the fourth round of regional economic development grants to support tailored approaches to job creation in different areas of the state. The $709.2 million in awards are part of the state’s ongoing Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative begun in 2011. Regional strategies have long been a key component of state development policy, enabling policymakers to encourage institutional partnerships with a focus on the specific needs of local economies. New York’s approach supports individual projects proposed by regional councils.

President Obama Signs Spending Bill, Keeping S&T Funding Stable

December 18, 2014

This week, President Obama signed off on the continuing resolution omnibus spending package that will keep the federal government open for another nine months (see last week’s analysis).The spending bill provides stable funding for R&D and most research agencies, according to analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

VA Gov Launches Initiative to Boost Bioscience Innovation and Entrepreneurship

December 11, 2014

Gov. Terry McAuliffe hopes to increase the commonwealth’s profile in the global life sciences industry through his recently launched Virginia Bioscience Initiative. The initiative will develop cross-agency linkages, as well as public-private partnerships, to support entrepreneurs, use big data to drive new discoveries and speed the commercialization of new technologies. Gov.

Federal Continuing Resolution Would Keep Regional Innovation, R&D Funding Stable

December 11, 2014

Earlier this week, congressional appropriators reached a tentative agreement on spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year just a few days before the Thursday deadline. The continuing resolution omnibus, “cromnibus,” spending package would, if approved by the House, Senate and president, avert a government shutdown and again defer budget negotiations until next September. Under the agreement, most agency budgets would remain at similar levels to those enacted for FY14.

Regional Innovation Included in FY15 Bill; 254 Applications Received for FY14 Competition

December 11, 2014

Included in the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill for FY15 is $10 million for the Regional Innovation program. The Regional Innovation Program was authorized under the American COMPETES Act and is designed to provide funding to support regional innovation activities. The program received its first funding of $10 million in FY14 after extensive work on the Hill by SSTI, its members and others.

Labor Department to Award $100M to Expand High-Tech, High-Demand Industry Apprenticeships

December 11, 2014

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced details of a new $100 million grant competition to expand apprenticeship opportunities in high-growth industries. The program will specifically target industries that are using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers.  By investing in collaborative efforts around the country, officials hope the program will help develop clear career pathways through apprenticeship, particularly for underrepresented populations.

President Obama Announces Competitions for Two Manufacturing Innovation Hubs

December 11, 2014

President Obama has announced two new competitions for manufacturing innovation hubs as Congress debates whether or not to fund a national network of innovation institutes (see related article). The first hub would foster research and commercialization collaborations around smart manufacturing for the Department of Energy. The second would develop flexible hybrid electronics technology at the Department of Defense.

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