SSTI Digest

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


The Changing Nature of U.S. Basic Research: Trends in Federal Spending

May 21, 2015

Innovation in the United States, once a hallmark of economic success, finds itself resting on an increasingly weak foundation, according to an article in The New York Times.  The author, Eduardo Porter, suggests that two trends – increased international competition and a stagnant R&D-to-GDP ratio – pose key challenges for the U.S. First, government funding for basic research continues to fall and is politically vulnerable.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves $11M for Regional Innovation

May 21, 2015

Yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved a Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill that includes $11 million in funding for the Regional Innovation Program.  This action marks the first time the House bill has included funding for the program. The Regional Innovation Program is SSTI’s top legislative priority. SSTI thanks all who have expressed support for the program. The Digest will report more when the full House acts and the Senate proposal is released.

MIT Calls for Stronger Links Between MA Manufacturers, Innovation Ecosystem

May 21, 2015

Massachusetts needs an advanced manufacturing strategy, preferably one based on regional public-private consortia, according to a new report from the MIT Industrial Performance Center. In Strengthening the Innovation Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing: Pathways & Opportunities for Massachusetts, the group recommends that the state look to the federal Institutes of Manufacturing Innovation to develop its own manufacturing infrastructure.

Small Business Owners Optimistic About Future Economic Conditions, New Survey Finds

May 21, 2015

Business owners felt overwhelmingly optimistic about the future, as over 80 percent of them predicted their revenues would increase over the next three months and that financial conditions would be better as well, according to a new survey from Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg  Professional Service.

Tech Transfer Approach, Institutional Characteristics Influence Academic Research Commercialization

May 21, 2015

While there has been a significant amount of focus on identifying and cultivating academic entrepreneurs, two recent studies indicate that the environmental factors are equally important in the commercialization of academic research. These studies find that the commercialization approach of the tech transfer offices (TTOs) and institutional characteristics were vital in the success of academic research commercialization.

JPMorgan Chase Launches Research Institute With Report on Income Volatility

May 20, 2015

U.S consumers are subject to a high degree of income volatility and have insufficient savings to overcome shortfalls in their budgets, according to the inaugural report of the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Because of the mismatch between income volatility and consumer spending habits, the authors suggest there is ample room for innovation in the market for companies that help consumers with medium-term financial decisionmaking. The Institute plans to use its access to proprietary data in future report to inform policymakers on topics related to the economy and business.

FLC Seeks Success Stories About Research Partnerships

May 20, 2015

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is looking for stories about successful technology partnerships between federal labs and state or local governments. FLC will select examples from all six FLC regions to be featured on its website and at SSTI's 2015 Annual Conference. In 2013, winners were featured in a publication on state and local partnerships. Read submission requirements...

Angel Group Investments Positively Impact Startup Outcomes

May 14, 2015

Acceleration in angel activity, as described in the most recent Halo Report, is a continuation of a general trend of increased valuations, deal sizes, and activity by angel groups since the start of 2011. Despite this, relatively little attention has been paid to the impacts of these angel groups on the firms in which they invest.

EDA Leads $35M Multi-Agency Initiative to Strengthen, Diversify Coal-Reliant Communities

May 14, 2015

Through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, an effort among multiple federal agencies led by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), up to $35.5 million in funding is now available to provide investments in communities and workers negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and pow

NIST Announces Recompetition of 22 State MEP Centers in 2016

May 14, 2015

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) released a notice of intent to issue two future Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs) in 2016 for the recompetition of state MEP centers in 22 states. Each state MEP center provides manufacturing extension services to primarily small- and medium-sized manufacturers in their respective state.

Oregon Needs Angel Tax Credit to Stimulate High-Risk Investments, Report Suggests

May 14, 2015

Many promising technologies created by Oregon startups wither on the vine due to a shortage of high-risk angel capital and many other startups leave the state in search of funding, according to a new report from the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) – Oregon Angel Investment: The Economic Impact of High-Risk Investment in Oregon's Entrepreneurial Enterprises.

States Find New Ways to Expand Access to Higher Education

May 14, 2015

Forty-one states are spending less per student than before the 2008 recession, according to a recent study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. As a result, more of the burden of higher education costs is being passed on to students, putting college out of reach for many. With state budgets still tight, many states are experimenting with new ways to make a college education accessible to all students.

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