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SSTI Digest

National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) reveals R&D topics for Jump Start Projects

During a recent webinar presented by the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), center representatives announced details of its initial round of R&D funding opportunities, as outlined in its vision for 2024 document. The projects to be funded, which NSTC refers to as Jump Start Projects, are (1) AI-based Radio Frequency (RF) Design and (2) Test Vehicles. ​ During the webinar, Jay Lewis, director of the CHIPS for America NSTC Program, noted that “the aim is to deliver impactful results through early investments in projects with a near-term time horizon.” ​He also announced that approximately $100 million will be available to fund the first set of external teams. ​ Further announcements regarding the NSTC facilities model and selection process, as well as the launch of a workforce center of excellence, are expected in the summer of 2024.

TBED COP webinar

Hear from your Peers—Three Build to Scale Success Stories
June 20 @ 2pm ET | Free

American Council on Education (ACE) and the Carnegie Foundation seek input for a new economic mobility classification for Carnegie classification

The American Council on Education (ACE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching are seeking input into a social and economic mobility classification. The feedback form, available here, will be open until July 31, 2024. (Note: The feedback window has closed for basic classification.) In addition to the basic classification, the 2025 Carnegie Classifications will also include a social and economic mobility classification, which will organize institutions by looking at student characteristics, access, and outcomes, according to the organizations. This classification “will identify institutions throughout the U.S. higher education landscape that provide strong socio-economic mobility for students, and it will equip users to understand how an institution’s data compares to similar campuses. ”Institutions will have the opportunity to review their social and economic mobility classifications before they are released alongside the ACE-Carnegie revised basic classification.

DOE Voucher Provider Program is open for applications

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the reopening of five voucher opportunities (VOs) to accelerate clean energy technology adoption and the launch of two new VOs with $15 million in available funding to support manufacturers via the Voucher Program. The solicitations are structured so the first submission window solicits proposals from potential voucher providers and the second, which should be open soon, will be from potential voucher recipients. The application deadline for the first window is no later than July 9, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) recommends policies to increase racial equity in manufacturing supply chains

Three pieces of federal legislation enacted in 2021 and 2022—the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS Act), and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—collectively authorize nearly $1.5 trillion to reshape America’s industrial landscape. But will this money help the 107 Black-owned and 151 Hispanic-owned companies in the manufacturing supply chains that the legislation is designed to support? 

A U.S. Federal Court of Appeals panel upheld the preliminary injunction against the Fearless Fund

In a recent ruling, a U.S. Federal Court of Appeals panel upheld the preliminary injunction against the Fearless Fund, preventing the organization from resuming operations of its Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, which awards winners with a cash prize and access to mentorship and business support services. Following on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending Affirmative Action in college admissions (previously covered by SSTI here), this legal challenge tests whether private entities, like the Fearless Fund, can operate race-conscious funding programs without violating federal anti-discrimination laws.

Useful Stats: Sectoral breakdown of total and high-propensity business applications, 2005-2023

Led by increases in retail trade and professional, scientific, and technical services, the number of annual business applications nationwide has increased 119%, or nearly three million, from 2005 to 2023. However, the share of applications classified as high-propensity, or those more likely to result in businesses with a payroll, has decreased in all but the health care and social assistance sector, leading to a 26-percent point drop (58% to 32%) over the same period.

A new chapter

Two weeks ago, I let the SSTI Board of Trustees know that I wanted to step down as President & CEO and that a search for a successor be launched. After leading the organization since its inception in 1996, I had come to the conclusion now was the right time for a new chapter both for SSTI and for me. The job posting for the new President & CEO can be found at https://ssti.applytojob.com/apply/OSDVL6j7zk/President-CEO with a pdf of the full description at: https://ssti.org/sites/default/files/SSTI%20President%20CEO%20Job%20Desc...

I won’t be going away entirely and more on that later.

I have been involved in this field that has become known as tech-based economic development (TBED) for almost four decades, both speaking for and to the field as the head of SSTI for the last 28 years. TBED was largely a new field when I started in it in 1985, but even then the hallmarks of the field were evident:

  • We were learning from each other, happily sharing information across state lines to make our work better;
  • We worked to evaluate our programs and the impacts they were having, so we could improve our outcomes;
  • The beneficiaries of the work were at the table designing the programs and putting their money into the efforts as well; and,
  • As economic and societal conditions changed and program evaluations were conducted, we changed our approaches to respond.

SSTI President & CEO

SSTI, a national nonprofit organization focused on strengthening initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, seeks a President & CEO, who will work with the SSTI Board of Trustees and staff to set the vision and direction for the organization. The President & CEO serves as both the voice for and to the technology-based economic development (TBED) field, advocating for the field, and encouraging effective action by TBED organizations and personnel.

Event recap: How ecosystem mapping can aid your region

In SSTI’s recent TBED Community of Practice webinar, representatives from SourceLink and EcoMap Technologies shared practical insights on how ecosystem mapping supports both entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

Useful Stats: Business applications trending up, share of high-propensity applications trending down, 2005-2023

Business applications have greatly increased over the last two decades, jumping 119% from 2005 to 2023. However, the rate of high-propensity business applications—applications identified by the Census Bureau as having higher likelihoods of turning into businesses with payroll—have decreased as a share of all applications every year since 2005, despite having grown 22% over the same period. Breaking these numbers down by states shows uneven trends, with the difference in shares of high-propensity business applications in 2005 and 2023 decreasing by over 20 percentage points in most states.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners reports more than $30 billion impact over the last 40 years

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a technology-based economic development program serving all 67 Pennsylvania counties, reported in its 2023 Annual Statewide Impact Report that, since its inception more than 40 years ago, it has boosted Pennsylvania’s economy by more than $30 billion, generating more than 58,000 jobs in client firms plus an additional 101,000 spinoff positions, for a total of 159,000 new jobs that otherwise would never have existed.