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.


White House proposes cutting R&D, regional innovation, economic development, education, more

March 16, 2017

The White House Office of Management and Budget today released America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, an overview of the administration’s proposal for the FY 2018 federal budget. This is a precursor for the full budget proposal, expected in May. The administration would increase spending authority for defense and security by $54 billion while decreasing all other discretionary spending by an equivalent amount.

Commentary: How Not to Make America Great Again

March 16, 2017

The Trump Administration’s skinny budget proposal released today calls itself, “A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” From the information contained in the document, it is clear the Administration does not view science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship and the economic development efforts built around those activities as the path forward to making “America great again.” The program eliminations and drastic cuts are not the way to move the country forward economically. So what is behind this proposal? Two things: 1) a fight over the proper role of the federal government in the economy, and 2) a negotiating tactic to attempt to lull advocates into thinking program survival or lesser cuts are a victory. A full community response is needed and all of us must get off the sidelines and on to the playing field.

Making sense of Madness?

March 16, 2017

Ranging from diligent research to coin flips, pure chalk to cutest mascot, everyone has their own strategy for completing an NCAA college basketball championship bracket. At SSTI, we’ve completed our brackets based on NSF’s university data for R&D expenditures and doctorates produced, as well as the selection committee’s rankings. The chart included with this article displays the data.

Save the date: SSTI Excellence in TBED awards returns

March 09, 2017

The SSTI Excellence in TBED awards program is back! SSTI wants to provide you with a national platform to share your organization’s success stories and be recognized during this year’s 2017 Annual Conference as a leader in the economic development field. Tell your story by submitting an application in one of this year’s awards categories.

University research space growth slows, NSF finds

March 09, 2017

Research-performing institutions of higher education increased their science and engineering (S&E) research space by only 1.4 percent from FY 2013 to FY 2015, according to the biennial  Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities, the lowest two-year percentage increase since NSF started collecting the data in 1988.  In FY 2015, total research space reached 214.7 million net assignable square feet (NASF) – an increase of 2.9 milli

SSTI’s 2017 Annual Conference: Sept. 13-15 in Washington, DC

March 09, 2017

Join us in Washington, DC on Sept. 13-15 for SSTI’s 2017 Annual Conference. During each conference, the leading policymakers and practitioners of regional innovation economies come together to discuss critical opportunities and common challenges. Washington, DC provides an opportunity not only to meet with these peers, but also to showcase the impact of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for federal officials and legislators. Learn more about the conference, register at early bird rates and reserve your room at ssticonference.org.

Life sciences industry growing in Midwest, Philadelphia

March 09, 2017

The Midwest and the Greater Philadelphia region have found pathways to build strong life sciences industries and create environments that provide the necessary risk capital for healthcare startups. These life sciences clusters are driven by leading healthcare companies, high quality health systems, and top notch research institutions as well as strong entrepreneurial support ecosystems.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part VI: FL defends economic approach, KY calls for outcomes-based education funding

March 09, 2017

The last of the state of the state addresses are trickling in, with Florida’s governor this week making the case for the state’s economic development organization and business incentives, which the Florida House of Representatives have targeted for elimination. Last month Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin called for education reform and highlighted the competition for state funds in workforce development. Ohio and Louisiana’s governors are scheduled to deliver their remarks in April.

Innovations solving higher education challenges

March 09, 2017

In a world where disruptive innovation can change an entire industry, higher education has remained largely unaffected, according to a recent paper from The Christensen Institute. Innovations in higher education traditionally have centered on changes that allowed the industry to remain competitive and meet new challenges by pushing forward along established trajectories, such as building new buildings or adding new majors. But with technological changes moving deeper into the higher education field, traditional institutions are facing a greater challenge. As those institutions face rising tuition costs, declining state support and affordability issues due to weak wage growth, their business model is vulnerable to threats from larger disruptions. How they choose to respond may determine their future success.

Ross confirmed Commerce secretary, addresses challenges

March 02, 2017

The Senate confirmed Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary Monday night by a vote of 72 to 27 and he was sworn into office by Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday. The 79-year-old billionaire investor becomes the 39th head of the office, which oversees several key economic development organizations including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Economic and Statistics Administration. In his address to commerce department employees on Wednesday, Ross said the president has given the department “more responsibility than ever before.” In addition to being more involved with “rebalancing a trade system that has gutted American manufacturing,” Ross said that Commerce will “play a key role in his historic effort to relieve the crushing burden of regulation that has shifted American economic growth overseas and made us uncompetitive on the world stage.”

Legislative & Federal News for March 2, 2017

March 02, 2017

This week we take a look at the Trump administration's proposed $54 billion increase in defense spending, NDD United's letter to Congress (which SSTI signed), and testimony in favor of TBED funding.

Patents negatively affect follow-on innovation in select industries, research finds

March 02, 2017

Last month, SSTI highlighted a recent research paper on the debate regarding university-industry collaboration’s impact on the academic ideal of open sciences and reduced academic productivity. In a new working paper from National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), MIT researcher Heidi Williams examines another controversial Intellectual Property (IP) topic – whether patent systems, in practice, improve the alignment between private returns and social contributions.

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