Universities launch incubators, accelerators and funds in 2019

Universities frequently play an integral role in providing activities, research, and products that positively affect or support local, regional, state and national economic development or strategic goals.  In higher-education’s efforts to align its participation in innovation and entrepreneurship systems, universities’ incubators, accelerators and fund programs are essential in assisting their faculty, staff, or students in the services and support needed to create startups, bring products to market, or provide critically needed funding.

Virginia tech talent initiative fueled by Amazon need

Students and tech employers stand to benefit from a new initiative in Virginia that grew out of the Commonwealth’s proposal to Amazon, which is building its second headquarters in Northern Virginia. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will invest in their tech talent pipeline to produce 31,000 new computer science graduates over 20 years.

SSTI receives recognition

SSTI received an Appreciation Award as part of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) Awards of Excellence at their 2019 International Conference earlier this month. SSTI President &CEO Dan Berglund accepted the award and has led SSTI since its launch in 1996. The award recognized the organization for having “helped develop a nationwide network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving the economy through science, technology and innovation.

State youth apprenticeship programs require better data collection practices

As employers continue to face a shortage in trained and skilled workers, federally registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) continue to grow as a response. However, the ability to evaluate these programs depends on the quality of data collection and reporting practices. While there are variations in the federal data collection and reporting standards for adult RAPs, new and innovative programs such as state youth apprenticeship programs face a greater disparity in the quality of data management practices. A new report makes recommendations for state and local leaders on better approaches to evaluating the programs.

To encourage business R&D: grants or tax credits?

The importance of business and industry R&D investment for competitiveness and economic growth is a well-entrenched dictum of national and state innovation policy across most of the developed world. Approaches for incentivizing increased research expenditures fall into two broad categories, direct grants and subsidies to offset R&D costs or R&D tax credits companies may take post-investment for research expenditures.

States making headway in closing the rural-urban divide in access to high-speed broadband service

Access to reliable and fast internet service is a foundational element for the modern economy. Since the advent of broadband service its delivery has been highly divided between urban and rural areas. Many states are continuing to address this divide and took action in 2019. Several states repealed laws prohibiting local electric companies and co-ops from providing broadband services, other states initiated official planning efforts to expand internet services, and many approved and dispersed funding to develop broadband infrastructure in rural areas.

Useful Stats: Income inequality growing nationally and in all states, 2006-2018

From 2006 to 2018, income inequality has risen continuously both nationwide and in all states (but not in the District of Columbia). Annual changes vary widely for state income inequality, with some states experiencing increases year after year, and others displaying more volatile trends consisting of both sharp annual decreases and increases.