• Policy Academy on Strengthening Your State's Manufacturers

    Funded by NIST MEP and organized by SSTI and CREC, the Policy Academy is an opportunity for states to receive free technical assistance. An RFP and explanatory call are now available.

  • SSTI's 2019 Annual Conference - September 9th-11th in Providence, RI

    SSTI and conference host Rhode Island Commerce Corporation invite you to join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

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    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


SSTI Commentary: Reflections on renewing the middle class

Scarcity and systems issues on a biosphere level (ocean warming, acidification, deforestation, CO2 levels, etc.) aren’t the only reasons some people are beginning to have their doubts on whether capitalism is up to the challenges the world is facing. Some are wondering if the very success of our dominant economic model isn’t reaching limits of propriety of its own making.  A growing number of this community, including some among the well-to-do, are beginning to wonder aloud what’s next? What comes after capitalism?

Bipartisan bill would improve Manufacturing USA

Eight U. S. senators introduced a bill last week, endorsed by SSTI and more than two dozen organizations, that would provide performing Manufacturing USA centers with a path for continued federal support, while also better-incorporating the centers into other manufacturing and innovation resources around the country.

Hearing sets stage for Senate to strengthen SBIR

The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR. Earlier in the day, Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) published a report on business investment, which places many shortcomings of the national economy at the feet of “sharedholder primacy” and calls for policies to incentivize investment by businesses into research and innovation. Among the topics raised during the hearing were making SBIR/STTR permanent, faster contracting, and additional support for innovative companies.

Useful Stats: Per Capita Gross State Product, 1998-2018

Although North Dakota’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has declined since 2013, the energy boom in earlier years gave the state the fastest increase over the past 10- and 20-year periods, according to an SSTI analysis of recently updated state GDP data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Beyond North Dakota, the 10 years from 2008 to 2018 benefitted per capita GDP in states with a prominent knowledge economy, led by New York, California, Washington and Massachusetts. In general, per-capita gross product serves as a useful metric because it can show a state’s relative economic performance against its peers and over time. This article examines state GDP per capita over the past 20 years.*

Benchmark report reveals threats to US science, tech leadership

While the U.S. continues to lead the world in science, technology and innovation, other nations are on track to catch and surpass the lead the country currently holds, according to a new report from the Task Force on American Innovation (TFIA). In Second Place America? Increasing Challenges to U.S. Scientific Leadership, TFIA, a non-partisan alliance of leading American companies and business associations, research university associations, and scientific societies, benchmarks the U.S.

Science & Innovation policy research hub seeking content; EDQ call for papers on rural economic development

The Fung Institute at the University of California Berkeley, with funding support from the National Science Foundation, has established a website to serve as a centralized hub for finding research papers, analyses, and case studies on science and innovation policy. Papers to be included may develop models, analytical tools, data, and metrics to enable science and innovation policymakers and TBED practitioners to improve the impacts derived from public investments and policy interventions. 

Fed research explores employment opportunities for workers without college degrees

More than one-in-five jobs across America’s metropolitan areas are defined as opportunity occupations, those that pay above the national annual median wage and are accessible to workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to new research from authors at the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland. In Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time, authors Kyle Fee and Lisa Nelson from the Cleveland Fed and Keith Wardrip from the Philadelphia Fed reexamine findings from a 2015 study. This update offers an in-depth analysis of the largest metropolitan areas across the country, finding that a region’s occupational mix and cost of living play a significant role in determining their share of opportunity employment.

Washington’s expansive college tuition program intended to build state's workforce

The Washington legislature passed a higher education bill that is awaiting the governor’s signature that would provide more aid for state residents attending higher education institutions in the state. The bill could raise nearly $1 billion over four years through an increase in the state’s business and occupation tax.

Analysis finds software accounts for nearly one-third of business R&D, up 60 percent over 10-years

Software plays an increasingly large role in private sector research and development (R&D) expenditures, according to new research from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Based on a recent change in how the BEA treats software R&D in its calculations for gross domestic product (GDP) and other metrics, the analysis finds that the share of business R&D coming from software increased from 20 percent in 2006 to 32 percent in 2016, a 60 percent increase. The authors also look at longer-term trends in business R&D expenditures on software, as well as an analysis of software R&D in manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.

NY unveils $175 million workforce development initiative

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a new effort to streamline the state’s workforce development programs. The $175 million Workforce Development Initiative will consolidate the state’s fragmented workforce development funding opportunities. Using the state’s 10 regional economic development councils (REDC’s) to suggest and prioritize projects, the initiative will offer awards in three competitive categories: public-private partnerships that expand infrastructure and capacity for state universities to meet employer needs; programs to expand employer investment in workforce pipelines; and, workforce solutions that provide flexible funding for innovative workforce development projects such as those targeting advanced industries or underrepresented populations.

New initiative to study ROI of smart cities

ESI ThoughtLab, a branch of economic consulting firm Econsult Solutions, has announced a new effort to study the return on investment of smart city programs across the world. Sponsored by groups like Accenture, General Motors, CBRE, and Oracle, the group is focusing on how the cities of the future can use sensors, data, and analysis to help fully realize the beenfits of working and living in a city. The new effort will be a follow-up to research released late last year by the group on building sustainable business and financing plans for smart cities. In Smarter Cities 2025ESI ThoughtLab surveyed government leaders in 136 global cities, as well as 750 businesses and 2,000 citizens in 11 cities deemed representative of smart cities at large. They find that smart city investments have the potential to catalyze economic growth, although social and political challenges remain.

RFP for Policy Academy on strengthening your state’s manufacturers

NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership program is seeking participants for its second Policy Academy cohort designed to leverage manufacturing growth in your state. Funded by NIST MEP and organized by SSTI and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), the Policy Academy will provide participants with an opportunity to collaborate with other states to identify best practices, partnerships, and policies that will strengthen their manufacturers.

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