Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: AZ, CO, NJ, NY, VT spotlight climate, higher ed, rural and workforce proposals

Governors are continuing to roll out their state of the state addresses and this week’s SSTI review highlights differences in the states economies: while Arizona is enjoying population growth Vermont is struggling to attract workers. More states are focusing proposals on climate change and clean energy initiatives, with New York proposing a $3 billion bond initiative to build resiliency, and Colorado, New Jersey and Vermont proposing clean energy and climate initiatives as well.  Rural broadband, higher education and workforce initiatives also are throughout the state addresses.

Billions proposed in bond proposals and other state initiatives to address climate change

Voters on both coasts may be asked to approve funding this year to help combat the challenges of climate change. Governors in both New York and California are proposing measures to tackle environmental issues, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launching a “Restore Mother Nature,” which his office is calling the nation’s most aggressive program for habitat restoration and flood reduction, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a climate budget that would invest $12.5 billion over the next five years.

Vermont launches business accelerator focused on energy

While states across the country are focusing more on clean energy and climate change, SSTI is happy to share an opportunity from one of our members. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a Vermont based entrepreneurial support organization, announced the launch of the Delta Clime VT Energy 2020 business accelerator.

Clean Energy States Alliance details successes, roadblocks, and strategies of bringing new technology to under-resourced communities

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) released a report detailing the benefits, obstacles and importance of working with under-resourced communities to facilitate access to solar energy. The report, Solar with Justice, provides a detailed set of recommendations for successfully providing solar technology to low- and moderate-income areas.

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D Performance by Metro and Field

Taking a deeper dive into R&D expenditures at U.S. institutions of higher education, this week’s edition of Useful Stats examines the fields in which this R&D was performed at the metropolitan level in 2018. Expanding on a previous SSTI report showing that R&D activity at universities and colleges is clustered heavily on the coasts, this analysis uses the NSF’s Higher Education R&D (HERD) data on the research expenditures at individual institutions to determine how this funding is distributed among the various fields of study, with life sciences outpacing all other fields.

As shown in the map below, HERD expenditures in the life sciences (primarily the biological, biomedical, and health sciences) accounted for the vast majority of all higher education R&D activity in the U.S. — accounting for 57.8 percent ($45.8 billion) of the total performed in 2018. Engineering R&D was a distant second, accounting for 15.6 of the total.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: ID, VA and WV seek growth in economies

The governors are beginning their state of the state addresses, which SSTI reviews every year for news from the states’ executives on innovation-related initiatives. Each year we bring you the governors’ own words from their speeches as they pertain to the innovation economy. In this first installment, we see education, workforce, and broadband initiatives from Idaho and Virginia, which is also proposing a new office for wind development, and West Virginia is turning to new uses for coal and a new investment fund.

Idaho

New SBA administrator commits to address SBIR/STTR staff backlog

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Jovita Carranza to become the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this week. During her recent confirmation hearing, Carranza was pushed on the committee’s concerns about the leadership of SBA’s Office of Innovation and Investment, which overseas both the Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC) program and SBA’s SBIR/STTR policy office.