SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: North Carolina

R&D and innovation funding sees some increases, more decreases in state budgets: CA, IL, MS, NC, OH

Breaking a two-year impasse, legislators in Illinois were able to pass a state budget that reinstitutes an R&D tax credit and implements workforce development programs. In California, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) will see a 28 percent increase in funding, while other innovation initiative are receiving level funding. In other states whose budgets SSTI analyzed this week for TBED-related funding, we found that Innovate Mississippi was able to maintain state funding and new funding was appropriated for workforce development at the state’s community and junior colleges; a variety of programs were cut in North Carolina; and, Ohio will not get funding for a state office focused on commercializing research across key industries that the governor had proposed. More findings from California, Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina and Ohio are detailed below.

Facing deindustrialization, smaller regions turn to innovation, workforce development

In a recent Digest article, SSTI covered research highlighting the oversized role that offshoring multinationals had in manufacturing employment decline from 1983 to 2011. During this time, deindustrialization and manufacturing unemployment had a profound impact on community approaches to economic development.

LA, MA and NC budgets support innovation, tech-based development

Proposed state budgets in Louisiana, Massachusetts and North Carolina show support for innovation and higher education, with some states better positioned in their levels of support while some programs are experiencing cuts. North Carolina unveiled new programs supporting a variety of tech-based economic development initiatives, while Louisiana is restoring full funding for its state scholarships for residents despite its budget deficit.

Tech Talkin Govs, Part VII: NC, NH and OR focus on education, workforce

Educational initiatives continue to dominate in state of the state, budget and inaugural addresses, with governors in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Oregon all acknowledging its importance in the workforce development sphere and the future competitiveness of the states.

Nine states explore science policy fellowships

After training nearly 80 PhD scientists and engineers in the craft of policy making, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) has awarded planning grants to nine other states to evaluate the potential to create a policy fellowship for scientists and engineers in their state capital. The new one-year grant, which is administered by CCST and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, will support teams in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington as they work on feasibility studies and other strategic steps toward creating science fellowships in their state policy arenas.

NC prepares for tech tsunami

Leadership in the data economy should be a target for the state of North Carolina, according to a new report by the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation (BSTI). As more economic value is placed on the ability to successfully collect and manipulate data for insight and profit, the state needs to focus on closer collaboration, proactive branding and a greater focus on data science education and talent development, according to the report, NC in the Next Tech Tsunami: Navigating the Data Economy.

Election 2016 Updates

NC Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the election to Democrat Roy Cooper on Monday after a recount he requested in Durham County was showing no change in the election results.  Acknowledging that it was a divisive election, Gov.-elect Cooper said, “I know still that there is more that unites us than divides us.”  Cooper will face a Republican super majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

North Carolina Ups Ante in Bid for Growing Data Center Industry

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory recently signed an economic development bill (HB 117) that would expand the operations of the state’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) fund. The fund, which offers grants to companies for job creation and expansion, will have a higher annual cap, and a contingency to offer even more funds in years in which a “high-yield project” is supported. The North Carolina Competes Act also offers targeted support for a particular type of job creator: data centers.

Budgets in AL, NC, NH Emerge After Extended Negotiations

While most state legislative sessions ended over the summer, a number of states only recently approved spending for FY16. Governors in Alabama, North Carolina and New Hampshire have approved budgets in the past few weeks, each after months of tense negotiations. SSTI reviews budgets in each of these states for spending related to technology-based economic development. For past articles in this series, visit ssti.org/tags/state-budget.

New NC Initiative Aims to Expand Reach of Innovation Economy

Five North Carolina communities have been selected to participate in InnovateNC, a two-year economic development initiative centered on sharing knowledge, tools and resources between partner regions. Asheville, Greensboro, Pembroke, Wilmington and the city and county of Wilson were chosen from the 18 applicant regions. The initiative is spearheaded by NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues with nine partners and supported by a grant from the Kenan Creative Collaboratory.

Community Colleges Announce Free Tuition Plans; TN Promise Remains Under Microscope in State, Nation

Since the establishment of the Tennessee Promise in 2014, the first statewide free community college effort, community college systems and states are outlining their own strategies to make a two-year education free for students in their region in attempt to create an educated, qualified workforce that addresses the needs of industry and promotes economic prosperity. While it may remain too early to judge the benefits and the costs of these programs – lawmakers and educational professionals remain divided on the issue. 

NC Commits $250M for Second North Carolina Innovation Fund

State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced a second North Carolina Innovation Fund (NCIF), a $250 million commitment to North Carolina-centered companies. Approximately $165 million will be designated to make co-investments in growth stage companies with the potential for a risk-adjusted, high return on investment (ROI) – 20 percent ROI. The second NCIF will make targeted investments into a diverse set of industries that include key sector identified by the state as growth sectors.

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