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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.


Creating opportunity through innovation

March 30, 2017

A better future depends on science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, but it also depends on harnessing these tools as a way to solve society’s shared problems. Growing jobs and wealth in a community is the goal of nearly all economic development programs, but more can be done to ensure that the public good is given an equal priority when developing regional prosperity strategies. The following highlights examples of technology-based economic development organizations increasingly focusing their efforts on creating opportunity through innovation.

Canadian budget focuses on innovation, new economy skills, superclusters

March 30, 2017

Through Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proposed budget, the country’s 2017 Innovation and Skills Plan will provide significant support for efforts intended to attract talented immigrants to the country, encourage investments in clean tech, and make the government procurement process easier for small, emerging technology firms.

Useful Stats: Share of U.S. venture capital activity and per capita investment by state, 2010-2016

March 23, 2017

Once again, more than three-quarters of U.S. venture capital (VC) dollars went to companies in California, New York and Massachusetts in 2016, according to data from the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)/CB Insights’ Moneytree Report Explorer. Approximately 53.3 percent of all VC capital went to California companies, down nearly 4.4 percent from the states peak in 2014 (57.7) and down 3.9 percent from 2016.

House Science Committee advancing R&D changes

March 23, 2017

The U.S. House Science Committee released a letter last week reasserting the majority party’s interest in setting R&D priorities for federal science agencies and supporting appropriation levels that generally align with the White House’s budget blueprint. The letter notes priorities for most of the $42 billion in R&D budgets within the committee’s purview.

WY, SD budgets fund innovation initiatives

March 23, 2017

State budget season shifts from the proposal stage to legislative approval. Over the coming months, the Digest will cover funding of relevant programs. Our first look includes $2.5 million in Wyoming for the Economically Needed Diversification Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) program and $4.6 million in South Dakota for the Office of Research Commerce.

Upjohn: Every $1 invested in Manufacturing Extension Partnership program yields nearly $9 in return

March 23, 2017

A recent study by the W.E. Upjohn Institute finds that the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program generates a substantial economic and financial return on investment for the federal government. The $130 million invested in MEP during FY2016 by the federal government generated more than $1.1 billion in increased federal personal income tax, a ROI of roughly 8.7:1, according to Upjohn.

South Carolina proposed budget focused on education, workforce

March 23, 2017

Proposed under previous South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the state’s FY 2017-2018 budget request calls for approximately $3.5 billion to be spent on K-12 and higher education funding including:

Universities announce investment funds for local startups

March 22, 2017

While many universities maintain startup investment funds targeted at growing university-affiliated startups, several universities are looking beyond their walls for investment opportunities that will create a return on investment (ROI), but also support economic prosperity. Through these investment funds, universities are able to make strategic investment in startups that will contribute to the future growth of their community, region and state. Massachusetts provides a recent example where MIT will invest $25 million in local startups.

Additive manufacturing roadmap released to create industry standards

March 22, 2017

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have released Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 1.0) to help coordinate and accelerate the development of industry-wide additive manufacturing standards and specifications. In the roadmap, the authors highlight 89 gaps – 19 of which are high priority – where no published standard or specification currently exists to addr

SSTI submits letter to CDFI Fund on equity certification

March 21, 2017

In response to a request for information, SSTI submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund about the certification process and standards for community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Just 1.4 percent of all CDFIs and 0.2 percent of total assets are registered by the CDFI Fund as “venture capital,” which is concerning given the importance of equity for many startups.

SBIR Road Tour highlights funding opportunities

March 20, 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced dates for this year’s SBIR Road Tour, a national outreach effort to highlight funding opportunities through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Combined, these two programs invest more than $2.5 billion annually as a way to spur innovation. At each of the road tour’s 16 stops, innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and small technology firms will have the opportunity to meet directly with SBIR and STTR program managers at the state and federal levels to discuss the program. The tour begins in May 2017 and will continue through October.

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

March 16, 2017

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.

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