• Free Webinar: Regional Innovation Strategies informational webinar | June 14 at 3 p.m. EDT

    SSTI is hosting a webinar featuring EDA's Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship on the $21 million, FY 2018 award cycle. Register today!
  • SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference - December 3-5 in Salt Lake City

    USTAR is hosting SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape. Join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship.
  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies. Learn more about membership...
  • Policy Academy on Strengthening Your State's Manufacturers

    Funded by NIST MEP and organized by SSTI and CREC, the Policy Academy is an opportunity for states. An RFP and explanatory call are now available.
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    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Solar solutions can compete for $3 M in solar prize contest

American Made Solar Challenge is seeking teams of creative individuals and entrepreneurs to compete for prize money and strategic support in accelerating ideas and solutions. In a three-part series of contests, $3 million will be awarded in cash prizes and up to $525,000 in vouchers, which can be used at national laboratories and other voucher facilities to develop, test and validate ideas in the energy marketplace.

Postsecondary education enrollment affected by economy

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that while postsecondary education enrollment has increased overall between 1955 and 2015, it has increased and decreased during this long-term period of increase, reflecting changes in the economy. In particular, the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 influenced significant changes in American postsecondary education enrollment, according to the report.  The number of students enrolled in college in the U.S. increased during the recession, and then fell during the post-recession years of 2012-2015. However, from 2006 to 2011, total college enrollment grew by 3 million, contributing to the overall growth of postsecondary enrollment during the Great Recession period.

SAFEs & tech-based economic development

Part 1 of this series on SAFEs (simple agreements for future equity) focused on the investment vehicle and its pros and cons, and can be found here.

In this second article in a series on SAFEs, we examine how the investment contracts may be used by venture development organizations (VDOs), entrepreneurial support organizations, and other investment-focused economic development entities. These public/nonprofit capital providers may increasingly face exposure to SAFEs from the changing private market as their region’s private accelerators, super angels, and other private investors shift from convertible notes to SAFEs during the early-stage investment process.


Cities are refocusing economic development efforts, NLC report

Economic development was the most prevalent policy issue across mayoral speeches in 2018, according to State of the Cities 2018 from the National League of Cities (NLC). This is the fifth straight year that economic development issues were are the forefront of mayoral speeches with NLC reporting 58 percent of  state of cities speeches including “significant coverage of economic development issues.” However, this year marked a shift from mayors focusing their speeches on job creation and business attraction strategies in previous years to primarily focusing on driving downtown development, supporting innovation, and enhancing local art scenes. For those mayors that did discuss job creation, the speeches focused primarily on developing more inclusive strategies that create equitable access to economic opportunities for all members of their respective communities.

Regardless of their jobs, scientists and engineers increase employers’ productivity

The conclusion from the working paper, The Effects of Scientists and Engineers on Productivity and Earnings at the Establishment Where They Work, by Erling Barth, James C. Davis, Richard B. Freeman, and Andrew J. Wang, is pretty clear for manufacturers and policy advocates for improving U.S. manufacturing: firms should hire as many scientists and engineers as possible.  The research finds, Morgan Foy explains in an NBER Digest article, that occupational statistics reveal approximately 80 percent of people trained as scientists and engineers do not work in R&D jobs.  Filling a company’s payroll with as many of these people, regardless of their position, seems to pay off. The authors’ research concluded a 10 percent increase in the proportion of scientist and engineer employment within a manufacturing establishment was associated with a 4 percent increase in total factor productivity for the firm.

DOE report highlights importance of 40 years of research support

A new report from the Department of Energy (DOE) highlights examples of major scientific accomplishments emerging from 40 years of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) research support, including how these discoveries have helped fulfill DOE’s mission and have led to new technologies and industries that contribute to American innovation and prosperity.

States look to investment tax credits to increase economic growth in DE, NJ, TN

Over the past few weeks, Delaware, New Jersey, and Tennessee have proposed, announced or expanded investment tax credit programs to spur job creation and innovation. In Delaware, Gov. John Carney signed the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act, while Tennessee is expanding its Angel Tax Credit criteria, and New Jersey is proposing establishing innovation zones and tax credits for high-tech businesses within those zones.