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.

U.S. R&D Reaches Record High of $499B in 2015, NSF Estimates

November 10, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) estimates that U.S. research and development (R&D) funding reached an all-time high of $499.3 billion in 2015 – an increase of approximately $21.6 billion over 2014 levels ($477.7 billion). The $21.6 billion increase marks the third time in three years that overall U.S. R&D funding grew by more than $20 billion – $20.4 billion in 2013 and $21.1 billion in 2014.

Annual Conference Wrap: Grappling with Challenges, Calls to Action

November 10, 2016

As you are likely aware, SSTI’s 2016 Annual Conference took place last week in Columbus, OH. The theme of Innovation with Purpose: Shaping Future Opportunities was addressed throughout the agenda, and people were particularly struck by the need to better-orient programs and services to address “Innovation’s Blindspot,” as defined during the keynote talk delivered by Ross Baird of Village Capital. During other moments in the conference, such as policy-focused discussion groups and sessions on improving metrics and communications, attendees were directly called to take actions that would benefit their programs and customers, as well as the innovation community as a whole.


November 07, 2016

Columbus, OH – Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Excellence in Technology Based Economic Development awards, SSTI today announced four winners driving prosperity in their states and regions through innovative approaches to growing their economies and creating high-paying jobs.

TBED Practitioners Gather in Columbus

October 27, 2016

In less than a week, about 300 professionals, stakeholders, policymakers, and others working to encourage economic prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship will gather in Columbus to hear and share the latest news, trends and advancements at the SSTI Annual Conference. It is fitting that the conference is being held in Columbus this year, as the city itself is being recognized for its activity and growth. Columbus recently was named by Money magazine as the Best in the Midwest in their Best Big Cities ranking. It also placed first in the Midwest for visitor satisfaction and in the top 10 overall, according to another recent survey.

Economic Development Ballot Initiatives

October 27, 2016

While economic development issues have been taking a back seat to other discussions surrounding the presidential election, two state ballot initiatives address these issues directly and several other states feature educational initiatives. Engineering facilities at the University of Rhode Island and biomedical research in Montana would advance if ballot initiatives in those states pass on November 8.

Governors' Races: TBED Overview

October 27, 2016

Twelve states have gubernatorial races in this year’s elections. After Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was recruited for the vice presidential ballot, Indiana voters have current Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb on the ballot as the Republican candidate for governor. Some states have incumbent governors seeking re-election, including Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Others have term-limited governors and are thus seeing new faces on the ballot, including Delaware, Missouri and West Virginia The remaining states have open races, including Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont.

White House National S&T Council Addresses Future Artificial Intelligence R&D, Public Policy

October 27, 2016

As artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to become an increasingly large contributor to future U.S. economic growth, policymakers must be thoughtful about the technology’s implications related to federal R&D strategy, societal benefits, and public policy, according to two recently released reports authored by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

DOE Announces Third Round Small Business Voucher Pilot Program

October 27, 2016

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has launched the third round of the Small Business Vouchers (SBVs) pilot program. In this round of funding, DOE will commit up to $5 million in technical assistance from DOE national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market in nine technical areas of interest.

Economic Innovation Group, New Economy Initiative Join SSTI Conference Speaker Line-Up

October 20, 2016

John Lettieri, co-founder of Economic Innovation Group (EIG) and its senior director for Policy and Strategy, and Pamela Lewis, the director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), have joined the speaker line-up of the SSTI Annual Conference, Innovation with Purpose: Shaping Future Opportunities, as part of the Bold Ideas for Innovation with Purpose opening plenary session.

Finding the Right Metrics

October 20, 2016

Whether measuring the nature of the economy or determining the impact of economic development programs, finding the right indicators and metrics is critical. And a new set of questions is arising for economic development practitioners: Who gets credit for impact when multiple organizations provide services to the same company? When impacts may be long-term, what is the best way to gauge success in the short term? These and other questions will be explored during the conference session on Measuring Impacts: Where We Stand and Where We Need to Go at this year’s annual SSTI conference.

Cancer Moonshot Requires Funding Infusion

October 20, 2016

While progress has been made, challenges remain in the goal to advance cancer research, according to the “Cancer Moonshot” report Vice President Joe Biden delivered to the White House on Monday. The “Cancer Moonshot” is the current administration’s effort to accelerate 10 years’ worth of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment into just five. The Washington Post detailed remaining challenges, including a lack of coordination among researchers, outdated funding cultures and slow dissemination of information regarding new treatments. The White House has urged Congress to approve $1 billion in funding for the effort, along with money for other health initiatives and the National Institutes of Health.

Is Peer Review Stifling Innovation at NIH?

October 20, 2016

With the visionary language of large federal initiatives like the “Cancer Moonshot” or provocative branding such as “NIH…Turning Discovery into Health®” and the National Institute of Health website further touting “revolutionary ideas often come from unexpected directions,” one might assume an equally ambitious approach is being taken to ensure federal life sciences research is going toward research with the most promise for positive impact and scientific advancement.