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.


Investing in Regional Innovation Strategies

November 16, 2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced this week that 35 organizations will receive nearly $15 million in funding to create and expand cluster-focused, proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

STEM Education Designed to Reach Broad Audience

November 16, 2016

One of the greatest assets in transforming STEM education is so simple it is often overlooked: a child’s innate sense of curiosity. Harnessing that curiosity and engaging students in activities that instill a sense of wonder and discovery can help legitimize behaviors that are core to the practice of science and engineering.

Engineering Job Mismatch Spurs Study

November 16, 2016

More than 40 percent of people trained as scientists and engineers indicate they are either working outside their field of study or working in a field only somewhat related, according to a recent study. Findings reveal that the majority of those working outside their academic major choose to do so voluntarily, and they are more likely to become entrepreneurs. Less than 25 percent of educational mismatches occur because of labor market conditions. Instead, workers are choosing different jobs due to changing career interests or family obligations.

States Shifting to Clean Energy See Progress

November 16, 2016

An increase in electricity generation from renewable energy sources and policies driving a shift to clean energy are revealed in a new report from the Georgetown Climate Center that highlights 19 states’ progress toward a cleaner and more efficient electricity system. Progress includes a 40 percent increase in wind energy capacity nationally, and a 577 percent increase in solar capacity growth between 2011 and 2014.

Blockchain Tech: An Emerging Industry? (Part 2)

November 16, 2016

Last week, the basics of the blockchain platform as well as the potential that it presents as an emerging industry were presented in the Digest. In this week’s post, the use of blockchain platforms and applications for the fintech industry as well as other industries that could see disruption due the introduction of the blockchain are explored.

EDA Awards Nearly $35M for Economic Prosperity in Several States, Coal-Impacted Communities

November 16, 2016

Over the last two months, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has made nearly $35 million in investments intended to spur economic prosperity across the country including nearly $28 million for communities impacted by transformations in the energy industry. These efforts are intended to unlock the potential of regional assets including community members, local institutions of higher education, and regional industies by funding entrepreneurship, innovation, research and development (R&D) activities, and other capacity-building efforts.

TBED at the Border

November 16, 2016

Regional activities supporting innovation and entrepreneurship are reaching across U.S. borders, forming new partnerships with organizations from neighboring countries to broaden their impact and leverage their strengths. Beyond traditional trade relationships, these activities are promoting new opportunities for longer term collaborations with potential to benefit the U.S. and its neighbors.

New Faces in Gubernatorial Offices

November 10, 2016

Twelve gubernatorial seats were up for election Tuesday, five of which were held by incumbents seeking reelection. Four of those – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D), Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) – were reelected for second terms. In North Carolina, Democratic candidate and State Attorney General Roy Cooper has a lead of less than one percent over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory. Gov. McCrory has not conceded and the result is pending a canvass of votes, which may not be complete until November 18.

An Agenda for President-elect Trump to Move America Toward an Innovation Economy

November 10, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump made strong appeals during his campaign to restore economic opportunity for workers, particularly those displaced by changes in the manufacturing and energy sectors. An economy driven by transforming America’s scientific research into good-paying jobs and high-growth businesses would deliver on the promises Trump made to voters. SSTI has a policy agenda to provide entrepreneurs and investors with the support they need to make this transition to an innovation economy.

Economic and Education Ballot Measures Get Mixed Results

November 10, 2016

Bond issues supporting higher education goals got mixed results in Tuesday’s election. A bond issue in Rhode Island to be used for the renovation and construction of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering buildings was a winner in this year’s election, receiving 59.3 percent approval. The bond issue that would have created the Montana Biomedical Research Authority was not as lucky, with 56.9 percent of voters there rejecting the measure.

Blockchain Tech: An Emerging Industry?

November 10, 2016

In a special feature this week, SSTI will examine a developing technology advancement that has been increasingly drawing public attention. This is the first of a two-part series examining blockchain and its implications for business and industry, with today’s story focusing on the technology, while next week will focus on its applications and challenges.

Recent Research: Local Impacts of Federal R&D Investments

November 10, 2016

As the United States undergoes a political transition, much remains to be seen in how the Trump Administration will approach the economy. One way to support economic development on both a federal and regional level is by leveraging research and development. Building capacity for scientific research is an underlying principle of the Innovative Science and Technology for Economic Prosperity (iSTEP) model – a comprehensive policy platform for converting the United States’ strength in R&D into greater economic prosperity – which has received bipartisan support from an overwhelming majority of voters. Roughly three-fourths of prospective voters in the 2016 presidential election support increasing federal funding for research, according to bipartisan polling supported by the Innovation Advocacy Council, an initiative of SSTI. Recent research also shows that scientific R&D grants distributed at the federal level can have significant effects on regional economies.

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