SSTI Digest

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


SBA Commits $4M to Second Round of Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

April 09, 2015

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will commit $4 million to the second round of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Launched in 2014, the competition makes awards of $50,000 each to help fund operating budgets for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (e.g., venture capital and angel capital investors). For this round of funding, applications are encouraged from manufacturing accelerator models. Applications are due June 1.

Percentage of S&E College Grads Grows, But Not S&E Employment

April 09, 2015

Although the percentage of college graduates with science and engineering (S&E) or S&E-related majors has increased, the proportion of college graduates employed in an S&E occupation has remained relatively unchanged at 10 percent since 1993, according to a recently released InfoBrief from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Engineering Statistics.

LA Universities Urged to Take Greater Leadership Role in State's Tech Economy

April 09, 2015

In order to build a prosperous, globally competitive economy in Louisiana, state universities must take on a greater role as hubs of regional innovation, according to a report from the Public Affairs Research (PAR) Council of Louisiana. The report includes 46 recommendations to transform the state's economy by revamping existing innovation programs, and boosting university research. PAR's strategic plan is based on a review of innovation policies in other states, particularly Georgia and the work of the Georgia Research Alliance.

PA's Economic Efforts Should Focus on Building Businesses Not Poaching Them, Report Finds

April 09, 2015

Pennsylvania’s economic development strategy should focus on building businesses rather than poaching, according to a new report from the Keystone Research Center (KRC) – All Pennsylvanians Prospering Together (APP): A Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy for the Long Term.

Venture-Backed Exits Fall to Two-Year Low

April 09, 2015

Only 17 companies had initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first quarter of 2015, the lowest number since the beginning of 2013, according to data from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). This is a significant drop from the 37 IPO exits in the first quarter of 2014. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were also down, with 86 exits, compared to 115 in Q1 2014. While 2014 was an unusually active time for venture-backed exits, the current data appears to be a return to recession-era levels of deals and disclosed values.

AAU, APLU Taskforces Craft Recommendations for University Tech Transfer Principles

April 09, 2015

Working groups at The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and The Association of American Universities (AAU), two membership organizations of higher education institutions, have released statements on the role of universities in managing intellectual property and technology transfer alongside their core missions and interest in maximizing public benefit.

Equity Crowdfunding Reaches Milestone with Announcement of New SEC Rules

April 02, 2015

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules to update and expand Regulation A, an existing exemption from registration for smaller issuers of securities.  The new Regulation A+ will enable smaller companies to offer and sell up to $50 million of securities in a 12-month period, subject to eligibility, disclosure and reporting requirements. Under Regulation A+, there are two tiers of offerings that companies may make that include:

Commerce Dept Names 26 Recipients of Regional Innovation Strategies Grants

April 02, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants. Managed by the Economic Development Administration, the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants:

With R&D Recognized as Investment in GDP Statistics, U.S. R&D-to-GDP Ratio Falls

April 02, 2015

Because of recent changes in the methodologies used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), research and development is now recognized as investment in statistics on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).  As a result, from 1929 to 2012, the average annual growth rate of GDP is 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previously published estimates.

Europe’s ICT Startups Critical to Economic Growth, Difficult to Retain

April 02, 2015

Europe is catching up to the United States in areas such as idea creation and risk capital but lacks the means to retain its talent, according to a recent report from authors at the Imperial College Business School in London.

AR, NY Legislatures Approve Economic Development Spending

April 02, 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 actions in Arkansas, Mississippi and New York.

NSF Seeks Partners for National Big Data Network

April 02, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has release a solicitation (NSF 15-562) seeking public and private partners for four new Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs. The hubs would build on the Obama administration's National Big Data Research and Development Initiative by creating a nationwide network of local stakeholders invested in overcoming technology barriers to large-scale data processing and interpretation.

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