SSTI Digest

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

San Francisco, Austin Seek to Include More Residents in Tech Prosperity

October 23, 2014

On the heels of a recent memo from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) highlighting the difficulty middle-skill workers are having finding a route into the modern economy, reports from two tech hotspots suggest that local action is needed to ensure that tech success translates into widespread economic prosperity.

Universities, Public-Private Partners Launch Commercialization Funds in IN, LA, PA, WA

October 23, 2014

Purdue University, the University City Science Center, and Washington State University announced the creation of new investment funds to support the growth of university-affiliated startups in their respective communities. These three recently announced commercialization funds all share a common trend – they will be managed or assisted in the management process via public-private partnerships. In Baton Rouge, LA, the Research Park Corporation also announced the creation of a fund to assist Louisiana State University researchers compete for commercialization funding from the university.

Knowledge-Intensive Industries Produce Nearly Quarter of U.S. GDP, Pay Higher Wages

October 22, 2014

Commercial knowledge and technology-intensive (KTI) industries produced nearly one-fourth of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 ($3.8 trillion), according to a recently released National Science Foundation (NSF) Infobrief using Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

New Initiative Boosts High-Speed Internet Pursuits of Innovation-Minded Cities

October 22, 2014

As part of Next Century Cities, a new bipartisan, city-to-city initiative, 32 cities and their elected leaders from across the United States are uniting to recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit-level Internet for economic development. The initiative enables participating cities to work together to learn about best practices in engaging and assisting communities in developing and deploying next-generation broadband Internet so that every community has the resources needed to succeed.

$20M Innovation Fund, Gov’s $1M Investment Highlight Chicago Innovation Exchange Grand Opening

October 22, 2014

As part of Next Century Cities, a new bipartisan, city-to-city initiative, 32 cities and their elected leaders from across the United States are uniting to recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit-level Internet for economic development. The initiative enables participating cities to work together to learn about best practices in engaging and assisting communities in developing and deploying next-generation broadband Internet so that every community has the resources needed to succeed.

VC Funding Declines in Q3 2014, Reports Examine VC Trends in OH, OR, PA

October 16, 2014

In Q3 2014, venture capital (VC) investments in the U.S. dropped by 30 percent from Q2 totals, according a new report from CB Insights. Q3 VC deal levels also dropped by 10 percent from Q2 totals. The severe drop, however, can be attributed to Q2 being the most successful VC quarter since Q1 2001. The good news is that the first three quarters of 2014 saw the U.S. VC investment total reach $33.75 billion – an increase of 59 percent compared to the first nine months of last year.

Recent Research: Is Bigger Better in Economic Development?

October 16, 2014

Over the past decade, two ideas have become more and more popular among innovation and economic development leaders. First, that maximizing collaboration between institutions, interest groups, stakeholders and communities is pivotal in building an innovation ecosystem that can succeed and grow over time. Second, that proximity matters, and by focusing on innovation networks at the regional or metro scale, rather than at the national or state level, initiatives can have a real, measurable economic impact. Though they seem complementary, these ideas are frequently in tension.

$25M Alumni Gift Establishes Entrepreneurship Center in Detroit

October 16, 2014

James A. Anderson, the founder and CEO of Detroit-based retail consulting firm Urban Science, and his wife donated $25 million last week to support the entrepreneurial efforts of Wayne State University’s engineering and computer science faculty and students.

President Obama, Tech Industry Continue Press for Visa Reform

October 16, 2014

Earlier this summer, President Obama announced that his administration would be taking executive action to reform immigration policy, working to improve the entirety of the immigration system by tweaking individual components. This week, at a startup incubator in Los Angeles, the President revealed at least one of those components: the H1B system.

Australia Releases Innovation and Competiveness Agenda, Establishes Five ‘Industry Growth Centers’

October 16, 2014

Australian Minster Tony Abbott announced a $400 million AUD (approximately $352M USD) national Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda focused on building the country’s innovation economy, supporting apprenticeship and workforce programs that address the needs of industry, and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.  The centerpiece of the agenda is a $188 million AUD (approximately $165.5M USD) initiative to create industry growth centers in five

Chicago Launches Effort to Train, Employ 1,000 Manufacturing Workers

October 15, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a coalition of Chicago organizations and private businesses have announced plans to place at least 1,000 workers in manufacturing jobs. The mayor’s 2015 budget proposal, presented this week, includes $200,000 for the effort, with another $750,000 in funds and in-kind contributions from partners. Recent growth in the region’s manufacturing sector has created an urgent need for workers with specific training and apprenticeships, according to the mayor’s announcement.

Commerce Department Announces Members of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council

October 09, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce has released the names of the 27 individuals who will serve as the initial members of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE, which will begin work in December, will advise the secretary of Commerce on transformational policies to help communities, businesses and the American workforce become more globally competitive. Subcommittees will explore the council’s three main focus areas: entrepreneurship, innovation and job-driven skills training.

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