SSTI Digest

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

MN, IA, Other States Look to Strong Agbiosciences Industry to Support Economic Prosperity

August 28, 2014

Minnesota’s economic future may well be rooted in its historic leadership in agricultural production, according to a new report prepared by Battelle, Agbioscience as a Development Driver: Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy. The report includes an assessment of Minnesota’s key capacities and opportunities in agricultural research and a suggested strategy for the state with a specific focus on growing the state’s agricultural bioscience (agbioscience) research infastructure.

Tax Revenues Still Lag Behind Pre-Recession Peak in 26 States

August 28, 2014

U.S. state tax revenues declined for the first time since the recent economic crisis, according to reports from the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The small drop in revenues is not being viewed as a sign of another fiscal collapse, but does indicate that the recovery may be slowing. For the 26 states in which revenues still have not returned to 2008 levels, the slowdown may suggest that a full recovery could still be years away.

Bloomberg Will Invest $45M to Bring Innovation to City Governments

August 28, 2014

Bloomberg Philanthropies will award $45 million in grants to large U.S. city governments to help improve urban life. Specifically, the foundation hopes to encourage the adoption of the “Innovation Delivery” model in big cities, an approach that relies on in-house innovation consultancy within city halls to deliver data-driven solutions to urban problems. Bloomberg and Nesta released a report on the model earlier this year. The foundation has invited 80 cities to apply.

Enabling Entrepreneurship in College Towns

August 28, 2014

As a wave of new freshmen begins to enter the halls of college campuses, a new trend is emerging – students staying. While the idea of students staying an extra year or two might make some parents cringe, in reality, college towns have proven to be an ideal environment not just for young people, but for young companies as well.

Federal Agencies Instructed to Prioritize Tech Transfer Collaboration in FY16 Budget

August 28, 2014

Recent memoranda issued by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology policy include the support of lab-to-market technology commercialization as a key pillar of cross-agency spending for the upcoming fiscal year.  The White House instructs agencies to explain how resources are being redirected from low priority efforts to multi-agency collaborations in specific fields, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, earth observation, global climate change, information technology, life sciences, homeland security and research policy-making.

U.S. Business R&D Highly Concentrated in a Few States

August 28, 2014

About 70 percent of 2011 U.S. business R&D spending occurred in 10 states, according to a report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). California leads the country in overall business R&D, and nearly every top industry.  Both the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland and Los Angeles-Long Beach area rank in the top three areas for business research.  Other top states include Washington, with high spending on software R&D, and Texas, a leader in semiconductor and mining research.

Defining Successful Regional Innovation Clusters

August 21, 2014

To compete in the global world market, regions must continue to evolve and better understand how best practices support their regional industries, including defining the benchmarks of a successful industry cluster. In a recent academic article from Harvard researchers, Mercedes Delgado, Michael Porter, and Scott Stern unveiled a new algorithm tool that generates and assesses sets of cluster definitions. The new algorithm will be integrated into the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project to help researchers and policymakers cultivate more successful regional clusters.

EDA Director to Share His Vision of Agency's Future

August 21, 2014

In one of his first appearances at a national economic development conference, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams will address SSTI's Annual Conference on September 15 in Chicago.

Global Investors Confident in U.S. Economy, Not Government

August 21, 2014

Global investors are more confident investing in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, according to a recent survey from Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).  Confidence in the U.S. macroeconomy and U.S. investments has now grown for the third straight year and continues to lead among the 12 countries included in the study. Respondents, however, indicated that they had a negative opinion of the country’s investment policy environment. U.S.

NGA Announces Support for Workforce Training Efforts in 14 States

August 21, 2014

The National Governor’s Association (NGA) announced that it will provide grants, technical assistance and opportunities to align education and training systems with private sector needs in 14 states. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia have been selected to receive support to build industry and education partnerships and optimize their workforce-oriented incentives.

Public, Private Funding for University-Led Manufacturing Innovation Partnerships

August 21, 2014

To revitalize the U.S. manufacturing base, states and private organizations are turning their attention to support university-led, manufacturing Research and Development (R&D) partnerships that reduce the cost of manufacturing domestically and equip U.S. manufacturers with cutting-edge technologies. Responsive to the needs of industry, these partnerships are intended to not only spur innovation, but also support economic prosperity in regions across the country. The Walmart Foundation and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced new funding for university-led manufacturing partnerships.

Useful Stats: An Analysis of Entrepreneurship Indices

August 20, 2014

Within the past few months, several indices have been released that attempt to rank states based on their entrepreneurial activity. From the perspective of economic development agencies, these indices are particularly helpful in assessing where each state stands according to the numerous ways to measure entrepreneurship. These indices, however, should be taken with a grain of salt; issues can arise when too much importance is placed on these lists for the sake of competition or the need for press.