SSTI Digest

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


President’s S&T Council Recommends Restructuring Federal IT R&D Spending

August 27, 2015

A new report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) proposes new categories for IT research investment in the coming years. Federally-funded IT research is currently grouped in eight categories introduced in 1995 for the purposes of budgeting and tracking. PCAST is recommending an overhaul of these categories to reflect the contemporary IT landscape. Other recommendations focus on continued investment in cybersecurity, Big Data, health IT and other hot topics.

New Initiatives Drive Rural Broadband Adoption in AL, KY, WI

August 27, 2015

For many states, broadband connectivity is becoming an increasingly important tool used to improve the economic well-being of residents, especially in rural areas. While some have paved the way for publicly funded municipal broadband providers, others, such as North Carolina and Tennessee, have filed suit with the Federal Communications Commission and joined the telecommunications industry in their opposition.

New Programs in St. Louis, Twin Cities Connect Startups With Corporations

August 27, 2015

Recently announced programs in the St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul regions offer startups and major corporations new chances to connect and work together. Pioneered by Illinois’ Corporate Startup Challenge, these types of programs seek to build bridges between important components of the innovation ecosystem: revolutionary new products and services and established market leaders.

U.S. Businesses Ratcheted Up Investments in R&D in 2013

August 27, 2015

Research performed by U.S. businesses grew by 6.7 percent in 2013, reaching $322.5 billion, according to the National Science Foundation’s Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS). The increase was the largest since the survey began in 2008. As businesses recovered from the economic crisis in 2009-2010, U.S. business R&D fell by 4.1 percent, but then began to recover. Most of the increase in 2013 was due to research funded by the companies themselves, with information technology companies posting the largest growth (22.2 percent).

NY Gov Cuomo Announces Next Phase of $1.5B Nano Utica Initiative

August 27, 2015

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the next steps of his administration’s Nano Utica initiative, an effort to revitalize the Mohawk Valley regional economy through nanotechnology innovation.

CT Launches Apprenticeship Program to Capitalize on Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities

August 27, 2015

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced the launch of a manufacturing apprenticeship program that will provide wage subsidies and tuition reimbursement to participating students. The effort will begin as a two-year, $7.8 million initiative, focused on advanced manufacturing industries, including aerospace, medical devices, composite materials, digital manufacturing and others. Funding will derive from the state’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund.

OR Initiatives Bridge Capital Gaps for Innovators, Manufacturers

August 20, 2015

Over the past few weeks, the State of Oregon has announced a number of new capital opportunities for small businesses. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, will invest $250,000 to support a new Inclusive Startup Fund that will invest in Portland-area startups founded by women and people of color. Fund leaders hope to raise a total of $3 million and match portfolio businesses with mentoring and business advising services.

MEP Announces Regional Forums Ahead of Competition for 12 MEP Centers

August 20, 2015

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is conducting three regional forums on the proposed recompetition of MEP Centers in 11 states and Puerto Rico. The regional forums are intended to provide interested entities more information about the MEP program, the federal funding opportunity and answers to any questions regarding the funding announcement prior to its targeted release of January 2016.

High-Wage Occupations Leading Post-Recession Job Growth, Educational Attainment Critical

August 20, 2015

Despite media reports that the most recent economic recovery has been largely driven by job growth in low-paying positions, a new report from the Georgetown Center for Workforce and Education finds that it is actually high-paying jobs that are leading this growth, and nearly all of them are going to individuals with at least a college degree.

Economic Development Leaders Share Insights on Award Winning Programs

August 20, 2015

Finding private-sector champions, building strong mentor networks, and creating organizational flexibility rank among the most critical elements of success, according to leaders of the 2014 Excellence in TBED award recipients. Expert insights on how these and other issues can be addressed are found in the latest SSTI Awards podcast series.

ME Considers State-Run EB-5 Program, GAO Report Looks at Economic Impact of EB-5 Programs

August 20, 2015

Due to a lack of activity by the state’s three privately-run regional EB-5 centers that serve the state of Maine, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (MECD) is considering launching its own EB-5 visa program to attract more direct foreign investment to the state, according to the Bangor Daily News.

White House Issues Presidential Innovation Fellows Executive Order, Hosts Demo Day

August 20, 2015

This week, President Obama issued an executive order in an attempt to make the Presidential Innovation Fellows program a permanent part of the federal government.

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