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Strengthening place-based innovation ecosystems: DOE opens request for information

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requests input from stakeholders on place-based innovation activities leveraging research institutions, such as (but not limited to) DOE’s national laboratories and sites. Feedback collected as part of this RFI will inform DOE’s future program planning and development efforts. The RFI is an opportunity to provide input on how DOE can catalyze and sustain place-based ecosystems across the country.

DOE encourages 33 groups to proceed on hydrogen hubs

This past December, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sent out letters of encouragement, or discouragement, to applicants in the competition for up to $7 billion in federal funding to support the development of regional hydrogen hubs. Of the 79 original applicants, 33 were advised to move forward with writing a full application. The DOE has not released a list of the groups that were encouraged to submit a full proposal but did allow the groups to announce their status on their own.

Resources available: SSTI webinar featuring federal funding opportunities to help regional innovation economies

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, SSTI’s new TBED Community of Practice hosted its first webinar as part of a multi-year effort to build capacity among Economic Development Administration (EDA) grantees to achieve greater impacts and strengthen the overall practice of technology-based economic development (TBED). Webinar participants learned about new funding sources and how they can support regional innovation economies.

Useful Stats: 20-Year Change in US Real GDP per capita, 2002-2021

From 2002-2021 (the last 20 years for which data is available), the total U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP adjusted for inflation, or Real GDP) increased by approximately 45%, from $13.5 trillion to $19.6 trillion in chained 2012 dollars. On a per capita basis, county-level real GDP increased by an average of 36% over the past 20 years, with a range of growth from -77% (Brooks County, Texas) to 3,950% (Culberson County, Texas).

SCRA reports over $1.15B in economic impact to state’s economy

The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) had an economic impact of over $1.15 billion in FY 2022, through follow-on funding, grants awarded, investments made by affiliate SC Launch Inc, job support and more,  according to their annual report. This total is an increase of almost 15% from their economic impact in FY 2021. The report was compiled by SCRA with assistance on the economic impacts provided by the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business. 

Shocks to manufacturing intensify inequality in US workforce

Last fall, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) issued its report on the distributional effects of trade and trade policy on under-represented and under-served communities. The report, which had been requested in 2021 by the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, found a disparity in wage and employment among manufacturing workers by race and gender resulting from changes in trade policy. Distributional Effects of Trade and Trade Policy on U.S. Workers, released in October of 2022, was compiled from a series of roundtable discussions between March 1 and April 1, 2022, an academic symposium on April 5-6, 2022, and a public hearing on April 19, 2022. Tai had called for the investigation to better identify and measure the potential distributional effects of U.S. trade and trade policy on U.S. workers, by skill, wage and salary level, gender, race/ethnicity, age, and income level, especially as they affect under-represented and under-served communities.

SSTI members host regional entrepreneurship policy meetings

Five SSTI member organizations — Conductor, Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Louisville, University of South Alabama, and Verge — were awarded micro grants by SSTI to host policy meetings with state and local officials in their regions about the needs of innovation-driven entrepreneurs. The awards were made possible thanks to a project with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In total, the seven meetings held by these groups connected dozens of entrepreneurs and support organizations with federal, state and local elected officials, program administrators and staff.