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.


Geography: Arizona

Universities launch incubators, accelerators and funds in 2019

Universities frequently play an integral role in providing activities, research, and products that positively affect or support local, regional, state and national economic development or strategic goals.  In higher-education’s efforts to align its participation in innovation and entrepreneurship systems, universities’ incubators, accelerators and fund programs are essential in assisting their faculty, staff, or students in the services and support needed to create startups, bring products to market, or provide critically needed funding.

Workforce programs receiving state attention

As the month of September marks national Workforce Development Month, states around the country continue to forge ahead with programs and initiatives to help train the workforce and attract more workers to open positions. This article highlights two new reports out that detail state efforts in various workforce programs, as well as calling out several new or proposed programs in Ohio, Vermont and Arizona that are designed to increase and develop the workforce in each of those states.

Ten states selected for manufacturing-focused Policy Academy

Ten states from across the country have been selected as part of a unique program designed to grow and strengthen their manufacturers. Over the course of the next year, interdisciplinary state teams will meet together in Washington, D.C., and separately in their home states, to develop and refine strategies impacting manufacturing industries.

Startup competitions target the circular economy

The circular economy, a phrase meant to redefine economic growth beyond the current “take-make-waste” extractive industrial model, is gaining attention around the world as a way to produce more positive environmental and social benefits. Over the past few months, three cities have announced efforts to promote circular economy startups. In New York City, a contest will offer a $500,000 prize to the best idea and business plan that seeks to repurpose the city’s recyclables and manufacture a product to sell to the local market. The City of Phoenix and Arizona State University announced four companies will participate in an incubator affiliated with the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN). Last fall, public sector partners and the university-based Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) collaborated to launch a new Circular Economy Incubator in the region.

Key ballot initiatives to impact state futures

SSTI has reviewed the ballot initiatives across the country that affect innovation. Several states have energy initiatives on their ballots, while higher education funding is at play in Maine, Montana, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Utah could become only the second state to fund its schools through gas taxes, if a measure there is passed. At the same time, four states have ballot issues addressing redistricting commissions which could have a significant impact on state legislative makeup when lines are redrawn after the 2020 census.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

Policymakers leverage public libraries to promote innovation

For hundreds of years, libraries have helped drive American innovation by serving as a trusted resource and providing information to a wide range of individuals. As libraries continue to implement their own initiatives in this space, policymakers across the country have recently turned to them as a way to level the playing field around workforce development and entrepreneurial support.

State budget proposals see some increases for innovation, cuts in LA

In this week’s review of state budget proposals, Alabama and Arizona’s governors are proposing funding increases for higher education, while Louisiana is facing cuts due to a budget shortfall. In Hawaii, the governor is seeking supplemental funding for the Hawaii Technology Development Corp to expand its grant making capacity, while Idaho and South Carolina’s governors are seeking more money for workforce programs.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018: AZ, FL, IA, ID, MS, NY, VT present state of the state addresses

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature returns as governors across the country roll out their state of the state addresses. We review each speech for comments relevant to the innovation economy, and bring you their words directly from their addresses. In this first installment, we present excerpts from governors in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New York and Vermont.

With the seat up for election in 36 states this fall, many governors are delivering what may be their last state of the state address (see last week’s story on the definite turnover in 17 states and another 19 eligible for reelection). Some governors are more specific in their addresses regarding the innovation economy, such as Idaho where its governor is seeking additional money for college and career advising, an additional $5 million for the Opportunity Scholarship program, and a new position to coordinate the work of all its higher education institutions. Iowa’s governor is calling on the legislature to pass the Future Ready Iowa Act and proposes a new scholarship for Iowans who decide to pursue up to a two-year degree in a high-demand field as well as more money for apprenticeships. Taxes are taking a large part of the discussion for many governors. For instance, the Florida governor is hoping for a constitutional amendment to make it more difficult for future legislators to raise taxes, while in New York, the governor says the state will challenge the federal tax code.

Creating tomorrow’s STEM leaders in AZ schools

Arizona schools are taking a different approach to developing the next generation of STEM workers and leaders with the Chief Science Officer position, now in 120 schools across the state. The students, from grades six to 12, are elected by their peers and participate in training events where they learn about STEM activities and careers and can advocate for STEM education in their schools.

AZ, MT, NE state budgets see some funding increase for innovation

SSTI continues its reporting on actions taken by state legislatures to invest in economic growth through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. This week, we look at the budgets passed and signed by governors in Arizona, where R&D infrastructure will get a boost at the state’s public universities, Montana, which will see an increase in funding for some higher education research facilities, and Nebraska, where the state maintained the amount authorized for funding to small businesses for commercialization activities.

Arizona

State budgets reviewed for TBED initiatives: AZ, GA, IA, IN, UT, VA

SSTI has analyzed more recently released state budgets for TBED-related initiatives, and this week we present findings from our review of AZ, GA, IA, IN, UT and VA.

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