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White House executive orders impacting science

Two recent executive orders issued by the White House have met with mixed reactions. While one order intended to ease the regulatory process for certain biotech products was met with favor by some in that industry, another order that could eliminate at least one third of the current federal advisory committees that was issued just days later, was roundly criticized.

Manufacturing rebound broad but uneven, report shows

Manufacturing growth is helping fuel one of the longest expansions in the U.S., steadily adding jobs since 2010, according to Economic Innovation Group’s (EIG) recent data brief, Manufacturing’s Real But Patchwork Rebound. While manufacturing job growth has risen over the past two years, the report notes that its growth was broad but uneven.

Four takeaways: USDA plans to move 500+ scientists to the KC Metro

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced plans to relocate nearly 550 USDA scientist positions from the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to the Kansas City metropolitan area. Originally announced in August 2018, the planned relocation of scientists within the USDA Economic Research Service, a statistical agency, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, has gained widespread attention.

Venture-backed Relativity Space poised to disrupt US commercial spaceflight

Founded in 2015, venture-backed aerospace firm, Relativity Space, is poised to disrupt the rocket manufacturing and launch markets as it secures long-term contracts at NASA’s Stennis and Kennedy Space Centers. Relativity is reimagining the process to iterate and scale rockets quickly, relying on its revolutionary “Stargate” metal 3D printer and new autonomous facilities to build and launch rockets in days rather than years.

NIH releases updated SBIR/STTR success rate data

Are you looking to increase the success rate of your state’s SBIR/STTR proposals? If so, a reminder that applications for the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program are due next Friday, June 28, at 4 p.m. EDT. This program provides one-year funding to organizations executing programs related to SBIR/STTR outreach, technical assistance, or financial support.

Opportunity Zones begin to be put to work

After 18 months, some communities are starting to see Opportunity Zones (OZ) investments. LISC, a community development entity with a long track record of project finance, has published a new guide to help communities plan to capitalize on the investment. These activities remain heavily focused on real estate projects but may still be informative for groups looking to bolster their regional innovation economy.

Adults without degrees can benefit from certificates

While higher education remains a viable path to economic advancement, adults without a postsecondary degree are increasingly benefitting from non-degree certificates and certifications, according to a recent report. As automation and technological advances demand more skills from workers in the changing economy, Strada Education Network and Lumina Foundation partnered to determine the value and impact of the growing number of non-degree credentials.