SSTI Digest

Geography: Alaska

NWBC Offers Insight for Minority Women Entrepreneurs

Measured over a three-year period, minority women-owned businesses had similar survival rates and employment growth compared to all women-owned firms, according to a recent series of federal reports. However, when measured against other minority women-owned firms, African American women-owned businesses showed greater job loss and lower survival rates.

Useful Stats: Industry's Share of Academic R&D 2000-2002, by State

For many states, increasing industrial research and development (R&D) within the state's academic research institutions is a priority. Some state tech-based economic development agencies offer financial assistance, such as matching grants to foster greater university-industry research collaboration. Some offer tax credits to companies for research expenditures within the state higher education community.

New Regional Science & Technology Councils Forming

Alaska Technology Councils To Merge

The Alaska High-Tech Business Council and the Technology Entrepreneurs Coalition will be merging January 1 to form HiTechAlaska. With more than 100 members, the new organization will focus on promoting the growth and development of the state's tech industry and strengthening industry ties with the University of Alaska system. The group will also broaden its focus beyond information and communication technologies. The organization's website,, will be launched in the beginning of 2004.


The nonprofit Challenger Learning Center of Alaska Board of Directors recently announced the hiring of Sharon Gherman as its new Executive Director. Gherman was the former K-12 program executive for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation.

Alaska Abandons Bid for Tech Future with ASTF Demise

Whether it is oil, gas, logging or fishing, only one other state in the nation, Alaska, is as dependent on natural resource extraction as Wyoming. Using tech-based economic development to diminish the impact of the boom and bust cycles experienced by all "colonial" economies to diversify the state's economy has been one of the goals of Alaska's gubernatorial leaders since 1988, with the creation and continuation of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF).


Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski has named Edgar Blatchford, a journalism professor at the University of Alaska, to serve as commissioner for the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Governors-elect Outline Support for Tech-Based Economic Development

While the 2002 election marked the return of Republican control of the U.S. Senate and the departure of a number of governors that had been strong supporters of investing in science and technology (e.g., John Engler of Michigan, Angus King of Maine, and Roy Barnes of Georgia), it may also mark the beginning point of a new group of governors that embrace technology-based economic development as a focal point of their administrations.


J.A. Hans Roeterink, chief technical officer and vice president of network operations for T-Systems in New York, is the new executive director of the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation. Roeterink begins Nov. 1, succeeding Jamie Kenworthy.

ASTF Seeks Executive Director As Kenworthy Announces Retirement

The state technology-based economic development community is losing one of its most dynamic and longest-serving leaders by the end of the year. Jamie Kenworthy, executive director of the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation (ASTF), has announced his retirement effective December 1.

State and Local Tech-based ED RoundUp


The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is better equipped to study technologies and barriers to developing energy resources in Alaska, thanks to a cooperative agreement with the University of Alaska. A story in Inside Energy reported that NETL recently established its fourth office in the U.S. in Fairbanks, helping to fulfill a Department of Energy (DOE) venture begun in FY 2000. In 2001, DOE awarded a $24-million grant to the university to operate the new Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory. A total of $30 million is expected to be awarded by September toward the effort.


To complete a school assignment aimed at closing the digital divide, engineering and business students at the University of Southern California have teamed with a church to create a cyber cafe, the Daily Trojan recently reported. The cafe, which will be free to the community, is intended to bridge the technological gap among minorities via computer training.


The Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association has injected $11 million into a private venture fund to support the commercialization of university research in the state. The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office, to help the process along, is doubling its budget to $2.3 million and increasing the office's staff from 11 to 16, according to an Associated Press report. The university also is increasing the researcher's share of royalties from one-fourth to one-third of the proceeds.

New Mexico

The Multi-Agency Network (Magnet), an initiative to link state agencies through a broadband fiber-optic network, is expected to boost economic development in communities throughout New Mexico, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The Magnet initiative will offer high-speed data services to state agencies in 35 New Mexico towns. A multimillion-dollar contract to finance construction of the network would increase competition among the state's telecommunication companies, including AT&T, Qwest and Worldcom. Qwest owns 85 percent of the state's phone lines.

In a related story in the Journal, a $1 million grant to build a fiber-optic network near Sandia National Laboraties also is inching closer to fruition. The grant was awarded in 2000 by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop the network on the 200-plus acres east of South Eubank, the location of the Sandia Science and Technology Park. In need of a master plan for the park and roads under which to install the network, the project had been delayed. Both of those needs have been fulfilled, however, and the project only awaits the selection of a contractor to build the network. One of six teams of contractors who submitted proposals is expected to be chosen by May 23.


Plans for two advanced technology centers are in the works for Kenosha and Racine Counties in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported. To open in January 2003 and the fall of 2003, respectively, the Center for Advanced Telecommunications (CATI) and the Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (CATT) will be assisted by a $1 million state planning grant. CATI, which will be built in Racine County, will serve as an incubator, a tech transfer hub and an education program to stimulate entrepreneurship. CATT will be located on the Gateway Technical College campus in Kenosha County; the center will foster training and jobs in biological and chemical technology and telecommunications.

Baldrige Awardees Include First in Education Category

Tthe five winners of the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's premier award for performance excellence and quality achievement, include, for the first time, three winners in the education category: 

State & Local Tech-based ED Round Up


The Prince of Wales Tribal Enterprise Consortium (POWTEC) is a high-tech reality today, thanks to the collaborative efforts of two tribal governments and a Bellevue, Wash., company, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Established by the Craig Community Association, the Organized Village of Kasaan and n-Link, POWTEC is an information technology company which supplies computer services to the federal government. Plans for the company include using federal set-asides for small, disadvantaged and tribally owned firms and maintaining a computer training center linked to the University of Alaska Southeast and the Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Wash. A $600,000 federal rural development grant is helping fund the center. 


The Loring Applied Technology Center became the second of seven technology centers scheduled to open across the state, according to the Bangor Daily News. The center was made possible due to $500,000 from the Legislature and a $400,000 grant from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. Comprised of more than 42,000 sq. ft., the center offers new business marketing help, business counseling, conference rooms, Internet access, and video conferencing technology. Seven areas of the center meant for the set-up of manufacturing services average between 2,000 and 5,000 sq. ft. each. Another 14,000 sq. ft. is shared area for office space, a loading dock and warehouse storage. The first technology center opened in South Portland; remaining centers are planned for Eastport, Fairfield, Orono, Rumford, and Sanford. 


Two rural cities in Nebraska with a combined population of 6,280 have taken a big step toward bringing high-speed commerce to businesses and growing tech-oriented enterprises, according to a story in the Omaha World-Herald. The cities, Aurora and Superior, are creating the Aurora Technology Business Incubator and growing the Superior Business Development and Technology Center, respectively. The Aurora project, which began in June, involves completing renovations to a 10,900 sq. ft. abandoned nursing home. Companies seeking space may qualify for reduced rent by participating in the incubator's training programs. The project is being financed by nearly $105,000 in grants. The Superior center stems from a $41,000 grant via the Nebraska Information Technology Fund in November 1999. The center currently offers business and technology training classes and houses the Stateline Business Development Association — an organization which boasts a revolving loan program that allows businesses a $1,000 loan upon which they may build a credit history. 

South Dakota 

Teachers, administrators and university faculty from across the state gathered in Rapid City October 2-3 to learn from national experts in education technology. The Distance Learning Showcase, a conference hosted by Gov. Bill Janklow, featured eight award winners from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), who offered advice on future use of the Digital Dakota Network (DDN) — the state's education technology system that links schools, universities, libraries and other facilities throughout South Dakota. Also present was USDLA Executive Director John Flores and representatives of Northern State University describing their mission change to a distance learning center for South Dakota. 


Memphis Incubator Systems is experiencing an 18-year property tax freeze on office space that will arise from a $3.1 million renovation of a warehouse, the Commercial Appeal reported. The incubator should save about $1.5 million over 18 years due to the freeze approved by the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. The incubator also is the beneficiary of a $90,000 loan which was approved by the Center City Development Corp.