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    Due to the pandemic, SSTI is rescheduling the Annual Conference to the spring of 2022. Check back for details and join us in Little Rock!

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CDFI awards $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded 100 community development entities (CDEs) $5 billion in New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) earlier this month. The purpose of this tax credit program is to stimulate investment and create jobs in low-income urban and rural communities that would benefit from economic revitalization — especially amid the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPSCoR stakeholder community invited to comment on future direction

The Committee on the Future of NSF EPSCoR (NSF's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) requests input from the broad EPSCoR stakeholder community on EPSCoR’s investment strategies and opportunities for increased success. The committee was convened as part of a year-long visioning activity to guide the program. The visioning process will help determine the effectiveness of EPSCoR’s current investment strategies, as well as help consider novel strategies or changes to the current strategies that would enable NSF EPSCoR and its jurisdictional partners achieve its mission more effectively.

DOC seeking NACIE applicants

The U.S. Department of Commerce is seeking applicants for the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on matters related to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing the commercialization of research and development, promoting workforce development, and other related matters. NACIE is managed by the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Members will be selected based on their ability to advise the secretary on matters relating to the acceleration of innovation and the support for and expansion of entrepreneurship, and will serve for two years. 

Defense department launches Centers of Excellence at 2 HBCUs

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), announced awards totaling $15 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to establish Centers of Excellence (COEs) in Biotechnology and Materials Science. The COEs will provide training to underrepresented students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and will also provide internships at defense laboratories while also offering training to K-12 students to strengthen the talent pool entering the STEM pipeline.

DOE seeks input on creation of new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a request for information (RFI) to help inform the creation of a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute focused on industrial decarbonization. Released by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the RFI seeks input from stakeholders in identifying key opportunities to decarbonize energy-intensive sectors across America’s economy through public-private collaboration.

House outlines multi-billion-dollar investment in science, innovation (updated)

Editor’s note, Sept. 16: This article has been updated to include additional science- and innovation-related funding proposals announced as the House continues its work on the reconciliation bill.

Committees have marked up their drafts for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, and the proposals include multiple, significant investments that could strengthen regional innovation economies. This article identifies more than $85 billion in potential innovation-focused spending without including much of the legislation’s potential R&D investments. Among the latest items are an additional $4 billion for Regional Technology Hubs and a manufacturing-focused $1 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. These add to the previously-announced $5 billion for Regional Technology Hubs, nearly $3 billion to support incubators and accelerators, and dramatic increases in tuition support for higher education. Further action is required in the House and Senate before final funding is approved.

Biden administration releases R&D priorities memo for FY 2023 budget

The Executive Office of the President released its first research and development memo at the end of August for fiscal year 2023. The memo is intended to provide instructions to agencies about the administration's priorities for R&D spending and activities, which should then be reflected in budget requests and agency activities. It highlights the research and development goals of the Biden administration in areas such as pandemic readiness, climate change mitigation, emerging technology, national security, public trust in STEM, and diversity and equity.

NSF establishes new I-Corps Hubs to advance National Innovation Network

NSF announced five new multi-institution I-Corps Hubs to deliver entrepreneurship training to academic researchers and scale the National Innovation Network. Each hub is funded at $3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The hubs are intended to offer a more integrated approach than the previous I-Corps Nodes and I-Corps Sites, which were funded separately. The new model will provide increase funding and enable scaling I-Corps across the country.

MBDA awards $3.7M in grants for specialty centers with emphasis on manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) awarded $3.7 million total in federal funding across nine grant recipients to establish MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Centers, Export Centers, and a Federal Procurement Center.

2020 Halo Report: Total angel investment up, but diversity sees decrease

Despite the pandemic and economic downturn of 2020, the amount of money invested by angel investors increased more than 6 percent over 2019, according to the 2020 Halo Report, an annual report on angel investments primarily within the United States released collaboratively by the Angel Resource Institute and Pitchbook. The report provides financial metrics on seed and Series A angel investments with key insights into regional differences, while offering an analysis on the demographic trends among the CEOs of companies at these stages.

SSTI Annual Conference moving to spring 2022

In addition to the information we share through our in-person gatherings, one of the key elements of our conferences has always been the connections we make, both old and new. We always strive to bring you the best possible experience at our Annual Conference, and we know from your feedback that being able to meet in-person and network is something you value as highly as we do. As an organization with science at its core, we've been following where the science leads us throughout the pandemic. With the high level of contagion of the delta variant and the CDC's guidance that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with significant and high spread, we've come to the conclusion that it is best for us to postpone our Annual Conference until spring of 2022.

Federal Reserve examines racial equity challenges within fintech

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and made more urgent by its financial impact on low-income households and households of color, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Fintech Team and the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program has been exploring how the greater racial equity goals in financial systems intersects with the growing field of digital financial technology, or fintech.

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