• 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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NIST recommends improvements for federal tech transfer, seeks comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a paper making recommendations to improve federal technology transfer. Recommendations are organized around five topics: regulation and administration, private-sector engagement, R&D workforce, tech transfer tools, and metrics and benchmarks. These recommendations — and the responses they generate — are expected to lead to regulatory and legislative proposals over the course of the next two years.

Useful Stats: GDP per capita by county, 2012-2015

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released prototype gross domestic product (GDP) data at the county level. This preliminary data, which includes the years 2012 to 2015, provides a granular look at county-level productivity. Furthermore, standardizing this data by population – GDP per capita – makes it a useful metric for comparing counties over time and across the country.  From 2012 to 2015, per capita GDP grew in 82 percent of counties. Of the 138 counties with a population of more than 500,000 (large counties), GDP per capita increased in all but five from 2012 to 2015, led by Palm Beach County, Florida (32.2 percent increase), Santa Clara County, California (28.6 percent) and Denton County, Texas (27.6 percent). Using data from the BEA and the U.S. Census, SSTI has prepared a spreadsheet showing GDP per capita at the county level from 2012 to 2015, as well as an interactive map highlighting this data.

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction.

Federal government presents strategic plan for STEM education

Envisioning a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education, and where the U.S. will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment, the federal government released a five-year strategic plan for STEM education. Noting that the federal government has a key role to play in furthering STEM education and removing barriers to participation in STEM careers, especially for women and other underrepresented groups, the report issues a call to action for a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities and employers.

How can the US address the manufacturing skills gap?

With a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion over the next decade, a new report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects that the manufacturing skills gap may leave more than 2 million positions unfilled from 2018 to 2028. In the 2018 Skills Gap in Manufacturing Study, the authors find that the talent shortage is accentuated by two factors: a prolonged economic expansion that has increased the number of job openings in manufacturing and projected growth in baby boomer retirement. Although these two factors are expected to lead to more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade, the authors’ research finds that fewer than half of these jobs are likely to be filled. In addition to making the case that this skills shortage poses risks to the broader economy, the authors also put forward strategic approaches to influence a more positive employment future over the long-term.

Global panel planned to study changes wrought by AI

The governments of France and Canada said last week they would create a joint International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI) to study and respond to the changes resulting from artificial intelligence and facilitate an international collaboration focused on sharing research and best practices.

Commerce announces $21 million in new Regional Innovation Strategies awards

At SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced 40 awardees for $21 million in the latest round of the Regional Innovation Strategies program. The program which makes grants for the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support, has now provided $78 million to 180 projects across 46 states, DC and Puerto Rico.

Congratulations to SSTI members: Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Excell Partners, Kansas State University, Launch New York, Launch Place, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, New Jersey Innovation Institute, Research Foundation for SUNY, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, and VilCap on their awards.

Impacts of H-1B visa reductions on economic growth

Over the last two years, foreign-born workers have faced  increased difficulty in obtaining work visas, a condition that could lead to negative impacts on the future economic prosperity of the United States. Under the Trump administration, there also has been a reduction in the cap for H-1B visas from 85,000 in 2016 to 65,000 this year. In addition to a reduction in the number of H-1B visas offered, human resource professionals report that the U.S. visa application process has become more difficult due to increased complexity, longer preparation times, and increased requests for additional information, according to a survey by Envoy

The cap reductions have driven public discourse regarding the policy’s economic impact. Proponents of the reductions argue that H-1B visas reduce opportunities for domestic-born workers. Critics of these policies contend that generally domestic workers actually benefit from federal policies that attract skilled foreign-born workers. Over the past several months, three research articles looked to measure the impact that these immigration policies can have and have had on domestic workers and economic growth.

Will balanced budget requirements result in state innovation cuts?

Strict balanced budget requirements, tax or expenditure limits and party control of a state legislature and governorship can influence innovation funding when states respond to deficits. As states face new political landscapes and decision makers in their legislatures, the implications of a recent study on the topic emphasize the importance of keeping innovation on a state’s agenda.

Rural Innovation Initiative working to bridge opportunity gap

Rural communities across the country have the opportunity to build capacity to create innovation-based jobs with a new initiative spearheaded by the Center on Rural Innovation. Communities that are already working on building new entrepreneurship capacity will receive on-site technical assistance as they execute an innovation hub strategy. Those communities will need to secure live-work space for the hub, raise up to $500,000 in operating funding and apply for matching funds at the end of Q1 2019.

NASBO State Expenditure Report shows increases in spending and revenue collections

The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) is reporting that total state spending rose in FY 2018, exceeding $2 trillion for the first time. While spending increased in both FY 2017 (3.8 percent) and 2018 (4.6 percent), it was still below the historical average of 5.6 percent, with the strongest growth in spending reported in the far West and Southeast. All program areas experienced an increase in total state spending, with Medicaid showing the largest percentage increase.

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D by state, 2008-2017

Higher education R&D expenditures (HERD) grew by 38.9 percent from 2008 to 2017, an increase of more than $21 billion, according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. From 2016 to 2017, HERD grew by $3.8 billion, the largest year-over-year increase since 2010-2011.

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