SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Cleveland Fed: Use Sector Partnerships to Address Employment Needs

August 25, 2016

Opportunities for successful workforce development partnerships exist across a variety of industries and geographies, according to a recently released report from the Community Development Department at the Cleveland Fed. The report, Addressing Employment Needs through Sector Partnerships, includes five case studies from throughout the Federal Reserve’s Fourth District, which contains Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Kentucky, the panhandle of West Virginia and all of Ohio. Although sector-based initiatives have been around for quite some time, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, whose final regulations became publicly available in June 2016, places a strong emphasis on aligning education and job training with employer needs, according to the report’s authors Kyle Fee, Matt Klesta, and Lisa Nelson.

Kauffman Index Finds Second Straight Year of U.S. Startup Activity Increases

August 25, 2016

Startup activity in the United States has increased for the second straight year after declining throughout the Great Recession and the years that followed, according to a newly updated index from the Kauffman Foundation. The metropolitan areas with the highest levels in 2016 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity are Austin, Miami, and Los Angeles. Among large states, the most startup activity according to the 2016 index were in Texas, Florida, and California, while Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming had the highest levels among smaller states.

Recent Research: Potential Impacts of University Incubators on Graduated Firms

August 25, 2016

A popular development strategy at the state and regional level, incubators seek to support economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with business assistance, access to capital, and networking. As of 2012, approximately one-third of the 1,250 business incubators in the United States were connected with universities, up from one-fifth in 2006, according to International (formerly National) Business Incubation Association data featured in The New York Times. Despite the proliferation of these programs at universities, there have been relatively few conclusions to date on the impacts of these incubators beyond anecdotes. Recent research from faculty at the University of Central Florida (UCF), however, finds evidence that firms in university incubators experience positive growth in number of employees and sales at a statistically significant rate compared to non-university incubated firms. On average, the authors find that university incubated firms were responsible for 3.965 more jobs than non-university incubated firms.

Universities Seek External Funds for Big Data R&D Centers

August 25, 2016

The big data technology and services market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.1 percent over the 2014-2019 forecast period, with annual spending projected to reach$48.6 billion in 2019, according to a 2015 study from IDC – a market research firm. Hoping to leverage this exponential growth into research and economic development opportunity, several universities are fund raising to establish new big data R&D Centers in the communities they serve.

$10M Available to Support Academe-Industry Partnerships on Smart Systems

August 25, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is entertaining proposals to support “academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with at least one industry partner in order to carry out research to advance, adapt, and integrate technology(ies) into a specified, human-centered smart service system.” Through the Building Innovation Capacity (BIC) element of the Partnerships for Innovation program, NSF intends to make up to $10 million in grants to support research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental or tran

New Initiative to Turn the Formerly Incarcerated into Entrepreneurs

August 25, 2016

As policymakers and economic developers grow to recognize the need to create broader opportunities for prosperity to sustain future national competitiveness, four facts reveal one of the complex and compounding factors hampering productive participation from a significant segment of our population:  

OSTP Finds Prize Competitions Address Agency Needs, Reduce Costs

August 25, 2016

In the last five years, federal agencies have undertaken 116 price competitions and challenges that have helped the agencies “spur innovation, engage citizen solvers, address tough problems, and advance their core missions” as well as provide a cost savings for the agencies, according to a new report the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released on August

EDA Announces Grants to Spur Manufacturing Growth, Address Declining Coal Industry

August 18, 2016

Since the beginning of July, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced almost $7.3 million in grants to support advanced manufacturing and support workforce development efforts in communities impacted by the decline coal industry. In Florida and Washington, the EDA announced funding to support the facilities that can house local manufacturing firms and provide the space and equipment necessary for them to create jobs.

FCC Overstepped Authority by Regulating Municipal Broadband Projects, Court Rules

August 18, 2016

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled against the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan that would allow municipalities to build their own broadband network – superseding state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that explicitly prohibit such projects. The FCC claimed that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 granted it implicit power to preempt state laws that are intended to support open markets for private-sector utility companies.

FTA Holds Open Dialogue on Five-Year, R&D Strategic Plan

August 18, 2016

To help the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) prepares its next five-year research strategic plan, FTA invites stakeholders from across the country to participate in the crafting of the plan by providing ideas and other comments to establish a framework to guide how the federal entity prioritizes and invests in research activities over the next several years.

SBA Releases Final Rules on Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program

August 18, 2016

On July 25, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a framework that allows qualifying small and disadvantaged businesses to obtain developmental assistance from mentor companies (both large and small businesses) and form joint ventures with those mentors to pursue government contracts.

Study: Science Literacy Needs Definition, Does Not Affect Attitudes

August 18, 2016

A recent National Institutes of Health-funded study by the National Academy of Sciences identifies how “science literacy” has been defined in research and the role this construct plays in attitudes about scientific research and funding. The 138-page report finds that science literacy has been measured many different ways but that the concept does not seem to directly affect attitudes toward science generally or in specific subjects.

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