SSTI Digest

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


More Universities Expand Beyond Tech Transfer to Generate Startups

March 26, 2015

Earlier this year, the University of Washington (UW) relaunched its technology commercialization office as CoMotion, an entrepreneurial hub and makerspace. In doing so, UW joined a growing number of universities that have opened up their technology transfer operations to approaches inspired by the tech startup scene. The transformations of the University of Pennsylvania, Wake Forest, Tufts University and UCLA recently were profiled in Nature Biotechnology.

First Round of State Legislatures Approve FY16 Budgets for TBED Initiatives

March 26, 2015

Over the past few months, SSTI has followed proposals issued by governors in their budget requests, State of the State Addresses, Inaugural Speeches and other events. Now that many state legislatures have begun approving budgets, the Digest will check on the status of these proposals, and examine the state of technology-based economic development funding in the states. This week, we review budgets in Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming

White House Unveils Over $240M in Multi-Sector STEM Commitments

March 26, 2015

President Obama announced over $240M in new multi-sector commitments dedicated to STEM education and outreach, with an emphasis on underserved groups, at the 2015 White House Science Fair on Monday. With the new investments, the president’s “Education to Innovate” campaign, launched in November 2009, has now resulted in more than $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM initiatives. 

NSF Releases Plan to Increase Public Access to NSF-Funded Data, Research

March 26, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a framework to increase public access to scientific publications and digital scientific data funded by NSF grants. The plan, entitled Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries, will require that NSF-funded research presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions be deposited in a database within one year of publication for the public to download, read, and analyze.

Uber Partners With Universities to Support R&D, Entrepreneurship

March 26, 2015

Over the last couple months, the San Francisco-based Uber, a mobile-app-based transportation network, announced partnerships with institutions of higher education in the Northeast. In February, Uber and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) launched a strategic partnership that includes the launch of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center, a Pittsburgh-based research laboratory to advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere.

State Legislatures Passed Over 45,500 Bills from 2013-2014, 25% of Bills Introduced

March 26, 2015

In the recently released 50 State Project, CQ Roll Call provides an overview of the 45,564 bills and resolutions that were passed by state legislatures between the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions. The report found the top issues covered by state legislatures during the timeframe were state budgets, education (including STEM and higher education), taxes, and transportation. Other important issues included job creation and energy-related issues.

RI Governor’s Proposed FY 2016 Budget Emphasizes Innovation

March 19, 2015

Late last week, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s released her proposed $8.6 billion FY2016 budget proposal.   The budget focuses on three guiding principles: building skills, attracting entrepreneurs and investment, and fostering innovation.

White House Announces Demo Days Event to Support Inclusive Entrepreneurship

March 19, 2015

The White House announced plans to host its first ever Demo Day, a new initiative to empower a variety of entrepreneurs from around the country to launch and scale innovative companies. Unlike a private-sector demo day, where investors watch and react to the pitches of entrepreneurs, the White House Demo Day, to be held this summer, will highlight success stories from entrepreneurs across the country, with an emphasis on best practices for inclusive entrepreneurship.

Recent Research: What Kinds of Publicly Funded R&D Projects Fail?

March 19, 2015

SBIR projects are less likely to fail if research teams are smaller, have more experience and include women investigators, according to a new working paper by Albert N. Link and Mike Wright. The authors also found that larger SBIR awards lower the chances that a project will be discontinued before completion. While the study focuses on projects supported through federal SBIR programs, the findings could have implications for other kinds of public R&D support.

MA, US Economy Would Benefit From National Immigration Reform, Reports Indicate

March 19, 2015

Massachusetts is disproportionately affected by federal immigration policy, according to a recent report from the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) – Growing 100K Tech Jobs: Trends, Insights, and Opportunities within the 2020 Challenge. The authors contend that the state’s universities and colleges educate a significant number of highly skilled immigrants from around the world in tech fields only to see them leave after graduation.

MEP Launches Competitions for 12 MEP Centers; WH Announces Supply Chain Initiative

March 18, 2015

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) issued a Federal Funding Opportunity for nonprofit organizations to operate state MEP centers in 12 states – Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The objective of the MEP Center program is to provide business and technical services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers within the state of operation.

UK Government, Pharma Companies Launch $100M Alzheimer’s Disease Venture Fund

March 18, 2015

In partnership with several major pharmaceutical companies, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt announced the creation of the $100 million Dementia Discovery Fund. The UK government-led venture fund will support innovative research across the globe to help find new ways to prevent and treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Private sector partners that already have agreed to invest in the project include Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Pfizer.

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