• 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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FY 2019 final budget from Congress

Congress is set to pass portions of the overall FY 2019 federal budget before the end of the current fiscal year, which has been rare over the last decade. To keep pace, SSTI will be running a series of FY 2019 budget updates. Part I is Energy and Water (including Regional Agencies), Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

 

University conferences aim to win with entrepreneurship

A new platform to match promising start-ups with experienced business executives, investors and startup mentors from participating school’s alumni ranks is reporting momentum. Following a year of development, the University of Kentucky last month announced the launch of the Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and the Midwest Executives-on-Roster (XOR) platforms, collaborations between regionally-partnered universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and match that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management. SSTI learned more about the program through interviews with two of the universities involved.

New data release from ACS

American Community Survey released its one-year estimates for 2017 on Sept. 13, with new statistics on income, poverty, educational attainment and a variety of other topics. ACS reports that many large metropolitan areas saw an increase in income and a decrease in poverty rates between 2016 and 2017.

CDFI Fund announces $165 million in awards, includes 4 VC funds

The CDFI Fund awarded $165 million in financial and technical assistance awards to 264 organizations yesterday. The awards include funding to SSTI member Launch NY and to three other groups certified by the CDFI Fund as community venture capital funds, out of applications from 432 organizations around the country. Yesterday’s announcement included an additional $37 million for organizations supporting financing for Native Americans, individuals with disabilities, and healthy food initiatives.

Cities reaching limits of fiscal expansion

Although more city finance officers are optimistic about the fiscal capacity of their cities than last year, that optimism is tempered by the fact that tax revenue growth is experiencing a year-over-year slowdown, with growth in service costs and other expenditure outpacing it. That, taken together with other results of the 2018 City Fiscal Conditions survey, suggests that cities are reaching the limits of fiscal expansion, according to the National League of Cities (NLC).

Federal agencies announce efforts to spur investment in rural broadband

Investments in rural broadband deployment can create significant returns on investments for state economies. A recent study from Purdue University's Center for Regional Development contends that Indiana could generate a $12 billion economic impact over 20 years with strategic broadband investments in rural areas across the state. Purdue researchers estimate that for every dollar invested in broadband by the state, there would a ROI of nearly $4 to the economy. The Federal Communication Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have recently announced efforts or proposed rules to create incentives for private investments, deploy new technologies, and develop other resources for rural communities across the country with the intent of spurring economic growth.

Carbon tech could spur WY job creation

The carbon tech industry in Wyoming could support an average of 2,600 jobs annually over the next 17 years, according to a new report by the American Jobs Project — a U.C. Berkeley-based nonpartisan think tank. Developed in partnership with the University of Wyoming, American Jobs Project researchers contend that the projected job growth could occur if the state government and private industry invested in growing this industry cluster. Carbon tech companies use coal, an abundant resource in Wyoming, to make graphene, carbon fiber and other products. In addition to job creation within the carbon tech industry, the authors cite job growth potential in downstream industries, primarily wind and transmission line developers.

NSF invites submissions to help set U.S. agenda for fundamental science & engineering research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the 2026 Idea Machine – a prize competition to help set the U.S. agenda for future fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by submitting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade. The top submission(s) will help guide NSF in the development of its next set of “Big Ideas.” Monetary prizes include a grand prize of $26,000 and approximately 12 Blue-Ribbon Panel awards of $1,000 each. Up to an additional 30 submissions will receive thank you letters from NSF leadership and 100 entries will receive public recognition by having their ideas posted on the Idea Machine website. Submissions are due Oct. 26.

 

DARPA announces $2B AI initiative

The “AI Next” campaign, announced by DARPA last week, is geared toward moving AI defense applications into a “third wave” of advancement, capable of complex problem-solving. DARPA will be investing $2 billion into AI through a variety of programs, and a core element of this initiative will be “AI Exploration” projects designed to move from proposal to start in three months, and from start to feasibility assessments within 18 months.

Cities can compete for $500M in funds to drive inclusive growth

JPMorgan Chase announced the creation of AdvancingCities, a new $500 million, five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the world. The firm will invest in cities where conditions exist to help those who have not benefited from economic growth. This includes demonstrated collaboration across the public and private sectors on solutions that create opportunity for people at risk of being left out of economic growth. Successful applications will be eligible for a three-year grant of up to $3 million.

Large companies dominate business R&D expenditures

Companies employing more than 5,000 people represent nearly two-thirds (63.9 percent) of all business R&D in the United States, according to an analysis of NSF’s Business Research, Development, and Innovation Survey (BRDIS). With the recent release of more detailed numbers and to expand on a Useful Stats report from earlier this year, this analysis focuses on business R&D by company size. Small and mid-sized companies made up the highest share of business R&D in Alaska, New Mexico and Louisiana. In Delaware, Michigan and Oregon, large companies made up the highest share of business R&D.

Are academic science & engineering resources growing more concentrated?

Colleges and universities that conduct research and development around science and engineering are central to technology-based economic development strategies and are at the core of America’s innovation hubs. The distribution of science and engineering R&D at colleges and universities (S&E R&D) – already distributed unevenly across the country— appears to have grown radically more so since the Great Recession. In fact, SSTI analysis using data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reveals that approximately 60 percent of all new funds for S&E R&D at colleges and universities from 2008 to 2016 went to institutions in just three states: Maryland, California and New York.   

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