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MI and VA see increases in TBED budget, while MA Gov vetoes some line items

July 20, 2017

Funding for TBED programs took a hit under Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker, who vetoed millions of dollars in programs that the legislature had approved in the FY 2018 state budget. Michigan programs fared better with funding maintained to diversify the state’s economy and funding for entrepreneurship ecosystems getting a boost. And in Virginia, after a messy budget process addressing an addendum to its biennial budget, many innovation programs saw increases.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charles Baker signed the FY 2018 budget passed by the Massachusetts legislature, but not before vetoing millions of dollars in programs that would support technology-based economic development. 

Two new notable initiatives within the state’s higher education system that will receive funding are the Intern Partnership program, which provides startups with funds to directly support interns, which will receive $1.5 million, and the Innovation Voucher Program, which will receive $2.0 million in new funding for FY 2018.  The program provides small corporations and startup companies with a voucher worth up to $75,000 per year to use UMass research facilities.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, will receive $10 million in FY 2018 from the state’s consolidated net surplus. Last month, Baker announced a legislative proposal that would provide $500 million over five years for the state’s life sciences sector, building on investments at the center.

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Institute, which works to commercialize academic research and raise scientific awareness in the commonwealth, will receive $242,500 in FY 2018, a 3 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) will receive $750,000 in FY 2018, a 50 percent increase from FY 2017. Prior to the governor’s veto, MTC would have received $1.0 million in FY 2018. The MTC Entrepreneur in Residence Pilot program will receive $50,000 in FY 2018, no change from the previous fiscal year.

Among the items Baker vetoed were:

  • $1.5 million for MTC’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs;
  • $850,000 for the MTC Computer Science Education Promotion Program;
  • $500,000 for the MTC Big Data Innovation and Workforce Fund;
  • $1.0 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center; and,
  • $125,000 for the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center.

Michigan

The FY 2018 budget passed by the Michigan state legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder includes considerable funding for technology-based economic development. Funded through the Department of Talent and Economic Development’s Michigan Strategic Fund, the state’s 21st century jobs trust fund, which makes investments, grants, and loans with the intention of diversifying the state’s economy, will receive $75 million in FY 2018 (no change from FY 2017).

The state will also provide an additional $20.4 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support entrepreneurship ecosystems in the state (5.1 percent increase from FY 2017). Of that amount, $1.0 million will go to “an independent biomedical research and science education organization” in Grand Rapids (no change from FY 2017).

Around workforce development, several notable initiatives will receive funding. The new Going Pro program, which supports workforce development opportunities in skilled trades jobs across the state, will receive a combined $46.4 million in FY 2018, which includes $15.5 million in one-time grants. The new Rising Tide initiative, which provides Michigan communities with funds to develop sustainable strategies toward economic stability and growth, will receive $2 million. The Protect and Grow initiative, which focuses on growing and retaining Michigan’s defense industry, will receive $1.0 million (66.7 percent decrease).

Virginia

After a contentious budget process that included the House Clerk G. Paul Nardo enrolling the legislative budget without  recognizing the governor’s vetoes, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order 65 that required all executive branch agencies to abide by the governor’s version of the state budget, not the final one enrolled by the clerk. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership – the state’s primary economic development agency will receive $26 million (2 percent increase from FY 2017).

The final budget (Chapter 836), which is an addendum to the FY 2017-2018 biennium, includes funding for several initiatives to drive the state’s innovation economy in FY 2018:

  • $7.5 million (50 percent increase) for the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program to support students pursuing credentials and certifications for high demand jobs;
  • $5 million for the New Economy Industry Credential Assistance Training Grant Program to cover 124 different community college training programs at Virginia’s community colleges geared toward providing workforce credentials for in-demand industries;
  • $2.8 million (7.7 percent increase) for the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund including $1.5 million for the Small Business Innovation Research Matching Fund Program;
  • $2 million to support cyber security training by students in Virginia's public high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions;
  • $925,000 (7.5 percent decrease) for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing;
  • $400,000 to develop a pathway program to attract and train veterans for cyber security careers; and,
  • $215,000 for Economic Development Services to assist small manufacturers with the export of advanced manufacturing products.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority will receive $11.2 million (0.9 percent increase) including:

  • $4.6 million (2.1 percent decrease) for Technology Entrepreneurial Development Services;
  • $2.1 million for the Technology Industry Developments Services; and,
  • $4.4 million (2.3 percent increase) for Technology Industry Research and Development Services.

Through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, the state will commit $3.1 million (6.9 percent increase) to the Commonwealth Growth Accelerator Program fund to foster the development of Virginia-based technology, biosciences, and energy companies.

The Virginia Research Investment Fund will receive $8 million in FY 2018 (100 percent increase from FY 2017) to:

  • Promote research and development excellence in the commonwealth;
  • Foster innovative and collaborative research, development, and commercialization efforts in projects and programs with a high potential for economic development and job creation opportunities;
  • Position the commonwealth as a national leader in science-based and technology-based research, development, and commercialization; and,
  • Attract and recruit eminent researchers that enhance research superiority at public institutions of higher education.

The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC) will receive $3.8 million (50 percent increase from FY 2017) to support a consortium of the state institutions of higher education to capture and perform research in the biosciences, as well as promote the development of bioscience infrastructure tools, which can be used to facilitate additional research activities. The goal is to create an environment that fosters relationships that makes Virginia a leader in collaboration, innovation, startups and job creation.

Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginiastate budgets