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EDA awards $35 million for 52 Build-to-Scale projects

This week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the 2020 Build-to-Scale awards. In this round, nearly $35 million was awarded to 52 organizations to support regional strategies advancing entrepreneurship and innovation. Through the end of 2019, funded organizations had worked with more than 6,200 startups, facilitating $1.6 billion in investment and the launch of more than 9,000 products, according to EDA.

$8.1 billion in state angel tax credits: Creating investors or more successful entrepreneurs?

Many of the most successful technology, life science and advanced companies in the country received financing in the form of an equity investment during their rapid growth and scaling stages of development.  Whether viewed as valiant, villains or vultures, the presence of individuals and firms willing to provide capital to companies when they have few physical assets or revenues is strongly associated with healthy regional innovation economies. As a result, considerable policy attention has been focused by states on increasing the amount of risk capital flowing to local startups.

Inclusive innovation ecosystem prize competition launched

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly existing resources that support underserved communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. There are three categories for applicants with an informational webinar

SEC permits more investors into private capital pool

For the first time, individuals with defined measures of professional knowledge, will be allowed to participate in private capital markets without having to meet the traditionally required income or net worth levels. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has broadened the definition for who the commission views as an ‘accredited investor’ and a ‘qualified institutional buyer’.

Student loan debt limiting entrepreneurship; Wisconsin takes aim

A recent brief shows the troubled relationship between student loan debt and entrepreneurship. The report, Student Loans and Entrepreneurship: An Overview from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, found that of those student borrowers who currently own or plan to own a business, nearly half reported that their student loans affected their ability to start a business. Additionally, among those who did start businesses, higher levels of student loan debt were negatively related to business income and employment.

USPTO launches National Council for Expanding American Innovation

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI), an initiative aimed at expanding innovation and entrepreneurship in America. The council consists of leaders in industry, government, and academia. The USPTO created the council to develop a comprehensive national strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation economy.

Useful Stats: Agency SBIR/STTR awards by state, 2009-2019

Consideration of a state’s trends in the distribution of SBIR awards by federal agency may help program leaders and policy makers optimize the design and performance for state and regional support of innovation-based startups. For instance, knowing which federal agencies provide the dominant share of awards in a state can inform a program’s marketing and outreach efforts, and, more importantly for the startups being assisted, it can guide recruiting the right mix of mentors and knowledge assets to a program’s technical assistance capabilities. The data also can inform efforts to attract investors and potential customers with similar alignment of interests with companies in a state’s SBIR portfolio. SSTI’s focus this week on the agency distribution of SBIR awards by state over the past decade reveals some interesting insights. Next week we will take a deeper dive into the data and examine awardee distribution trends at the regional level.

An exclusive SSTI analysis reveals that for the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018, two federal agencies were the top contributors to SBIR/STTR spending in every state and the District of Columbia. The Department of Defense (DoD) accounted for the greatest SBIR/STTR spending in 29 states while the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was the greatest funder in 22 states. This trend remains the same when including 2019 award data, although it is important to note that as of the writing of this article, DoD’s complete 2019 SBIR/STTR data was not available.

What a second Trump administration might mean for science and innovation

In advance of the Republican National Convention, the Donald Trump reelection campaign released a second term agenda. This plan contains 50 items, most of which are goals (e.g., “Create one million new small businesses”), but some provide insight to more specific policy actions that the administration could pursue.

GRA celebrates 30 years; SSTI Q&A with new president on progress and adapting over time

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), a public-private partnership that works with both the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development to expand the research capacity at the state’s universities and seed and shape startup companies. When it was formed in 1990, GRA was a new kind of enterprise. Leaders in state government, private industry and academia all came to the table to strengthen cohesion among Georgia’s public and private research universities – and, ultimately, to bring more research dollars and discoveries to the state. Today it is recognized as a key player in building the state’s reputation as a center of discovery and invention.

Employment in 24 states had not fully recovered since Great Recession BEFORE the pandemic, Pew finds

Coming off a holiday that celebrates workers across the country, today’s labor market is struggling to recover from a peak set in 2000. States whose labor market still hadn’t fully recovered from the Great Recession are facing an even greater economic disadvantage from the pandemic.

Manufacturers guided in hiring cybersecurity workforce

As manufacturers become more reliant on automation, advanced control systems, and remote work, the threat of cyber-attacks with the potential to damage critical infrastructure and even shut down an entire plant’s operations has never been greater.

$1 billion awarded for 12 quantum information services and artificial intelligence research institutes

Over $1 billion has been awarded for the creation of 12 new quantum information services (QIS) and artificial intelligence (AI) research institutes across the country over the course of the next five years, according to an announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation.

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