SSTI believes the federal government needs to work with states, regions and universities to strengthen initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Innovation Advocacy Council
To better communicate with and educate Congress on innovation issues, SSTI launched the Innovation Advocacy Council (IAC). Through the IAC, SSTI and its member organizations have:
- held more than 200 meetings with Congressional offices,
- provided input on multiple bills and policy proposals, and
- secured $40 million in funding for the Regional Innovation Strategies program.
The IAC's Advisory Board has worked with SSTI to develop a policy platform providing solutions for job creation and economic growth.
How can you help?
You can support SSTI and the IAC by providing information on your programs, contacting your congressional delegation, and helping to fund the IAC.
Contact Dan Berglund, SSTI president and CEO, at 614.901.1690 to get involved.
The SSTI policy platform is organized around seven principles. See each principle with its corresponding proposals below and read the full document for details and rationale.
Advance prosperity through locally-designed strategies
- The Regional Innovation Program should be expanded and the office administering it should be adequately resourced in order to catalyze greater economic growth through industry-driven local networks
- Expand the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Clusters program to support more industry-community partnerships
- Use the convening function of the Federal government through entities such as the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) to provide a stronger voice for manufacturing and other advanced industries in directing Federal innovation policy
Modernize our nation’s infrastructure to include and support new technologies
- Improve the country’s broadband and wireless internet infrastructure to provide greater access for all citizens to information and opportunities
- Bring new technologies to traditional infrastructure investments, such as more efficient and productive energy generation, improved cost-efficiency of airports and other facilities, and smart technologies that make communities safer
- Invest in the infrastructure needed to grow a 21st Century economy, such as the development of medical and scientific research parks, labs, and incubators
Grow good paying jobs by increasing the velocity of innovation into new product lines and businesses
- Implement a new research transformation capacity grant program to bolster regional strategies to convert research into new products and services throughout the country
- Modernize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to make permanent its authorization and to allow for commercialization activities
- Encourage universities and American companies to work together to solve America’s manufacturing problems by creating incentives for collaboration
- Streamline regulations and initiatives to facilitate the conversion of research from Federal laboratories into new jobs and businesses
- Pilot a program under the U.S. Department of Defense to turn military research into products and services for both the public and private sectors
Support small businesses and increase entrepreneurship
- Modernize Treasury’s small business capital programs to emphasize bank loans and private investments into American manufacturers and thousands of other small businesses and startups
- Revise existing Federal economic development programs that currently provide traditional loans and guarantees to allow funds to be used for equity investments, contract or royalty financing, and other early-stage capital to better support small businesses and startups
- Implement policies and guidance that encourage Federal economic development programs to specifically facilitate grant, loan, and investment opportunities to veteran, minority, and women entrepreneurs
Ensure the workforce is trained for the jobs of the future
- Facilitate the availability of Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to support programs specifically designed to improve entrepreneurial, advanced manufacturing, and high-technology skills
- Improve immigration laws so that American-trained STEM Ph.D. students and entrepreneurs can remain in the country to strengthen and create innovation- and technology-focused businesses and startups
- Increase funding for programs and teachers for primary and secondary STEM education
Reform national institutions to better support the innovation economy
- Increase funding for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to reach more small- and medium-sized manufacturers
- Establish a National Innovation Foundation to define, measure, and promote innovation
- Reauthorize EDA to continue its mission of promoting innovation and competitiveness in all regions of the country
Enhance America’s global competitiveness through increased funding for targeted research and development
- Greater funding for basic research, particularly to help provide cures for disease, more efficient production processes, and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge
- Incentivize private industry to fund sector-specific research and development