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OMB’s FY 2024 budget guidance for federal agencies adds R&D priorities, specificity

The White House Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly issued a memorandum to all federal agencies outlining an expanded list of research and development priorities. The document is intended to guide all executive branch offices and agencies as they put together their budget requests for fiscal year 2024. Nearly twice as long as the Biden administration's priority memo last year, the updated list includes more priorities and more details drilling deeper into the top concerns.

Senate Dems propose increased innovation funding for FY 2023

With the fiscal year coming to a close and the U.S. Senate having yet to advance any appropriations bills for the next year, the Senate Democrats have released their proposals for FY 2023 funding levels. Due to the potential for substantial changes when the final FY 2023 budget is passed, this article only covers specific funding levels that are a high priority for the tech-based economic development (TBED) field. Funding levels from the House Committee on Appropriations for FY 2023 and FY 2022 enacted amounts also are provided in parentheses for comparison purposes.

Recent survey explores perceptions of higher education

The recently published, 2022 edition of New America’s annual survey on American perceptions of higher education, Varying Degrees, includes findings that should be of interest – and potential concern – for the TBED community. The report includes updated findings on American perceptions of the value, funding, accountability, and admissions for higher education and perceptions of current financial security. It also reveals significant differences in perceptions of higher education based on respondents’ political affiliations.

EDA announces 32 winners of $500 million Good Jobs Challenge

Thirty two industry-led workforce training partnerships from across the country were announced as the grant winners of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Selected from 509 proposals, the regional partnerships are focused on removing barriers to training and are expected to increase more equitable labor participation with a focus on 15 key industries.

Nine additional SSBCI state plans approved

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced nine additional states whose SSBCI plans have been approved: Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont. This is in addition to the five states approved earlier this year: Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan and West Virginia. The state plans for the awards will support underserved businesses, innovation programs, investing for startups and more, detailed below.

Equity investors rolled through Q2 uncertainty

Amid a public market slowdown, inflation concerns and tightening monetary environment, the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor Q2 2022 indicates that most investors continued their COVID-era levels of activity through the second quarter of the year. While observed investment deal counts are down, PitchBook has already identified a total investment value of more than $144 billion across angel, seed and VC deals for the first half of 2022 — an amount that would have represented a strong annual total prior to 2021.

NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program releases info on all concept outlines, sets Type-2 award deadlines

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is breaking with tradition this week and for the first time released application data before it formally accepts applications for the NSF Engines program, which will provide up to $160 million of funding for up to 10+ years to establish each regional-scale innovation ecosystem Engine. The nearly 700 concept outlines have been published to help submitters in preparing successful proposals, with the belief that the applications and subsequent Engines will be strengthened if applicants are able to find one another and collaborate. NSF has also announced the Type-2 award deadlines for the Regional Innovation Engines program.

Congress passes modified competitiveness legislation

This week, Congress approved a new version of legislation to incentivize semiconductor manufacturing facilities, create a Regional Technology Hubs program, and reauthorize many science-related agencies. The Senate passed the bill on the 27th, and the House passed the legislation a day later.

America’s Seed Fund Week aims to educate and connect in SBIR’s 40th year

Entrepreneurs learned more about small business funding opportunities from federal agencies with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs during America’s Seed Fund Week last week. The $4 billion funding program, which is currently up for reauthorization, is celebrating 40 years of providing funding to small businesses each year in a variety of technology areas. Videos, including advice from program managers, and resources from each participating federal agency are available online.

Newly reestablished NACIE charged with producing three moonshots

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo led the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (NACIE) first meeting since being re-established, where she charged the council with identifying and developing roadmaps for three “transformative achievements” that will “serve as the core of an American National Entrepreneurship Strategy” to “improve our prosperity and strengthen our economic and national security.” Once the moonshots are decided upon, Raimondo said the council will recommend how the country can develop the technologies to achieve the goals.

Useful Stats: NIH SBIR/STTR application success rates & trends, FY 2012-2021

In fiscal year 2021, the nationwide success rate of applicants for National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I awards decreased slightly from FY 2020. This continued a downward trend over recent years. The success rate for NIH SBIR/STTR Phase I was nearly 13 percent (647 of 5,132 approved) in FY 2021, a decrease from nearly 14 percent (636 of 4,684 approved) in FY 2020 and from nearly 16 percent for all proposals submitted over the past decade.

TBED-related projects benefit from congressional earmarks’ return

With the return of congressionally-directed spending — more commonly known as “earmarks” — for the FY 2022 budget, nearly 5,000 projects received more than $9.6 billion in such funding. The return of the earmarks followed a 10-year absence after the practice was banned in 2011. SSTI’s review of the spending data, which was collected by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) from the congressional appropriations committees, showed that projects related to technology-based economic development (TBED) were included in the funding.

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