SSTI Digest

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

DOL, SBA Announce Funding to Support Regional Industries to Compete in Global Economy

April 23, 2014

The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced programs that will provide financial support to help states and regions assist key industries and small businesses compete in the global economy through the development of regionally focused workforce development and export assistance programs.

Five Sector-Focused Innovation Labs Aim to Support New Jersey Businesses

April 23, 2014

A new effort by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) seeks to make existing companies more competitive, support the growth of startups and create jobs by leveraging the assets of government, industry and higher education around five sector-focused labs. NJIT will launch a new nonprofit corporation, the New Jersey Innovation Institute, to support the labs – geared toward civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security, healthcare delivery systems, biopharmaceutical production, and financial services.

For Earth Day: Toward a Better Understanding of Our Regional Innovation Systems

April 17, 2014

The strategic direction of good regional innovation investments, from research through commercialization and production, must be based on the best information regarding the current trends, assets and needs of the regional innovation system. Socio-economic data and asset mapping tools - available through sources like the three EDA-funded sites: Stats America and US Cluster Mapping and the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN) – provide good starting points.

Useful Stats: Environmental Science Spending at U.S. Universities, FY2003-12

April 16, 2014

With Earth Day just around the corner, SSTI is taking a closer look at environmental science research spending in the states.  Even as climate change emerged as a key political topic during the first decade of the millennium, spending on environmental research at American colleges and universities declined as a percentage of all R&D, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. Between 2003-12, environmental science expenditures fell from 5.3 percent of all R&D expenditures to 4.8 percent.

Let Us Share Your Success Story

April 16, 2014

Telling your story helps generate buzz about the value of investing in science, technology and innovation to create vibrant regional economies and improve our nation's competitiveness. SSTI is accepting applications for the 2014 Excellence in TBED awards. This is a great opportunity to share with the country how your efforts to improve economic competitiveness are succeeding in your state or region. Eligibility includes: venture development organizations, tech transfer offices, tech councils, accelerators, venture funds, statewide tech-based initiatives, university-industry partnerships, and others. Applications due June 17.

MD Session Ends on High Note for Tech Sector, University-based Economic Development

April 16, 2014

The FY15 budget bill passed by Maryland lawmakers increases funding for three of the state’s high-tech tax credits and provides level funding for continued innovation-focused investments. Lawmakers also passed bills to fund endowed chairs, create zones to incentivize businesses, and establish a statewide internship program connecting students to small, technology businesses.

Brookings Examines State, Local Options in Financing Clean Energy Development

April 16, 2014

Inconsistent federal support for clean energy research and infrastructure projects in recent years has hampered the blossoming of an industry that has long been touted as a key part of the new American economy. As a result, states and local governments have stepped into the fray with clean energy funds, green banks and other tools to finance the development of the clean energy economy. A paper from the Brookings Institution explores another underutilized tool available to local governments, the bond market.

Vermont Gov Seeks $5M in Lending Support for Startups

April 16, 2014

Two proposals announced by Gov. Peter Shumlin would provide additional lending tools and incentives to attract and retain technology companies using revenue surpluses for the current fiscal year. The first proposal would establish the Vermont Enterprise Incentive Fund and authorize the governor to offer an incentive package not exceeding $4.5 million to businesses that have a substantial statewide or regional economic or employment impact. The second part adds $500,000 in state general funds to the $1 million in federal funds available to the Vermont Economic Development Authority’s Entrepreneurial Lending program.

Federal, State Workforce Initiatives Emphasize Higher Ed, Employer Involvement

April 16, 2014

Aligning industry needs with workforce training has gained renewed focus in states and emerged as a national priority. This week, President Obama announced two grant programs totaling $600 million in existing funds that challenge academic institutions and businesses to design job training for the globalized economy and set industry-recognized standards. States are increasingly partnering with community colleges and industry to fill in-demand jobs, and with tight budgets, new efforts in Georgia and North Carolina also aim to enhance worker training by reallocating existing resources or restructuring programs.

Tennessee Promises Free Community/Technical College Education

April 16, 2014

Tennessee legislators overwhelmingly approved Gov. Bill Haslam's cornerstone proposal for addressing affordability and accessibility issues plaguing higher education while at the same time making a substantial commitment toward future workforce preparedness: free community/technical college tuition.

MA Gov Announces Innovation-Focused Economic Development Package

April 10, 2014

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has unveiled an economic development package intended to bolster the state’s role in the global tech economy through multi-year investments totaling an estimated $100 million.

Tips for Writing a Better Proposal: Sign up for May 7 Awards Call

April 10, 2014

Registration is now open for the Excellence in TBED awards informational call. The purpose of the call is to share tips on writing a better proposal, explain the program in greater detail, and answer questions. Advice from past judges of the awards program also will be highlighted. Learn more and register at: