• SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference - December 3-5 in Salt Lake City

    The agenda and brochure are now online for 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. 

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State legislatures post election: more united, more divided

The 2018 general election Tuesday proved to be a better day for Republicans in state legislative races across the country than would have been expected based on average losses for a midterm election. That said, it was also a good day, for the most part, for the political parties already in control of the statehouse chambers, regardless of affiliation: more chambers holding elections this year saw the party in control increase its numbers than lose seats.

20 new governors to take office following election

With 36 governorships up for election — and more than half those open either due to retirements, term limits, or lost primaries — new faces were guaranteed in state offices across the country. As a result of Tuesday’s voting, 20 new governors will be taking office and 16 of 18 incumbent governors that were on the ballot on Tuesday will be serving another term (Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker were the only incumbent governors. defeated on Tuesday).

Useful Stats: Business R&D Intensity by State (2011-2016)

Since 2011, more than half of the nation's new investment in business research and development has come from California companies, and more than three-quarters has come from the top five states, according to an SSTI analysis of recently released NSF data. For the second time this year, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has updated the data for the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS),  a primary source of information on domestic and global business research and development expenditures. In 2016, companies reported nearly $317.7 billion in self-funded and self-performed domestic R&D, a $20 billion (7.0 percent) increase from the previous year, according to the updated data. This type of business R&D represented 4.0 percent of the gross state product in California and Washington in 2016, the most of any states.

Voters mostly supporting education and redistricting initiatives, mixed on energy

SSTI has reviewed the results of ballot initiatives affecting innovation following Tuesday’s election. Higher education funding received support from voters in Maine, Montana, New Jersey and Rhode Island; however, a South Dakota measure aimed specifically at developing a fund to assist the state's postsecondary technical institutes and students was defeated. Additionally, Utah voters opposed using gas taxes to fund its schools. Several states had clean energy initiatives on their ballots, with mixed results.

Congressional elections may shake up federal science, innovation policy

Tuesday’s elections resulted in a Democratic majority in the House, but the changes for the next Congress go far beyond this outcome. Flipping party control means new chairs for every committee in the House; many Senate Republicans in leadership positions are reaching their party’s term limits, yielding new committee seniority; and, retirements and incumbent losses yield further changes. For the bipartisan issues of science and innovation, this shake up will produce new opportunities and uncertainties.

MTI stakeholder engagement process sparks programmatic changes

While it has enjoyed a long history of success, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) knew it was time to update its processes when it found itself hampered by long-standing practices. Founded in 1999, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is an industry-led, state-funded, nonprofit organization and among the nation’s oldest state-level technology-based economic development agencies. With a focus on diversifying and growing Maine’s economy by supporting activities around innovation and entrepreneurship, MTI has invested nearly $230 million across more than 2,000 projects in the state. Still, the organization sought improvement. In 2016, MTI embarked on a 15-month strategic planning process and met with more than 120 stakeholders across Maine’s innovation ecosystem. The work has culminated in a new guiding plan for the organization, as well as key changes to the structure and delivery of MTI’s programs and investments.

Recent Research: Close look at manufacturing helps shape policy and practice

Last week, SSTI highlighted the recently released issue of the Economic Development Quarterly where three pieces stand out for their relevance to practitioners and policymakers. This article takes a look at how academic research can inform three common strategies for strengthening the manufacturing sector and encouraging regional economic development: targeting industry clusters, leveraging manufacturing extension services, and promoting workforce development.