SSTI Digest

Geography: Arizona

Trends 2013 Preview: Cities, States Invest in High-Tech Hubs

Eager to attract investment and spur startup activity, city and state officials launched entrepreneurship programs, high-tech R&D centers, and sector-specific facilities as part of the innovation hub trend in 2013.

SSTI Award Winners Blaze Onward: Library Space, STEM Grants and Tech Commercialization

On the heels of their big win last week in Portland, OR, SSTI’s 2013 Excellence in TBED award winners have announced more exciting news surrounding their programs’ impact and new initiatives to support regional growth strategies. This year’s winner for Most Promising TBED Initiative, ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group (EIG), has attracted a new partner to expand on their model for entrepreneurial support by repurposing existing library space. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced nearly $200,000 in grants for STEM education as they continue to improve the competitiveness of the life sciences sector, and in Utah, two impact reports have been released by partners of USTAR detailing progress made to expand research capacity.

AZ, NJ, WI Increase Capital for Entrepreneurship, MN's Angel Tax Credit Closed for 2013

Over the last week, several states have announced/passed new programs focused on increasing the capital available to spur small business growth and innovation. Officials from New Jersey announced the state's new angel tax credit will take effect July 1. In Arizona and Wisconsin two bills await gubernatorial approval that would rework the Arizona R&D tax credit program and establish a $75 million venture capital fund in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the Minnesota state legislature did not approve an additional $5 million for its popular Small Business Investment Tax Credit.

TBED People and Orgs

Sean Greene has joined the Case Foundation as entrepreneur in residence. Greene most recently served as associate administrator for Investment and special advisor for Innovation at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

MEP Center Awards Announced for Arizona and Rhode Island

NIST MEP has finalized cooperative agreements to create new MEP Centers in Arizona and Rhode Island. NIST is awarding $1 million to the Arizona Commerce Authority and $750,000 to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation to serve small- and mid-sized manufacturers in their states. Read the release...

Southwestern Universities Reorganizing Their Economic Development, Technology Transfer Activities

Two universities, the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM) and the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), are expanding or restructuring their economic development operations to improve commercialization of technology stemming from faculty research and the coordination and business development in their communities.

Flurry of TBED Tax Incentives Pervade State Legislatures amid Increased Scrutiny

Measuring impact is critical to the success and sustainability of any economic development initiative, and as the national debate over fiscal austerity and taxpayer spending continues, TBED organizations can expect increased scrutiny and accountability for their investments.

Voters Reject Tax Increases, Back Bonds for Higher Ed

While election night's main focus was on the presidential race, the importance of ballot measures for states and metros is growing as public services and budgets are being severely trimmed. A recent article in The New Republic reports on a new trend where states are embracing ballot measures as a potential source of dedicated funds for targeted investments in regional economic growth and development.

Universities, Foundations Working on Better Technologies, Methods for STEM Education

As evidenced in the recent presidential debates and on the campaign trails, STEM teaching and learning is a national priority for maintaining global competiveness. Several universities and foundations have taken the lead, working with partners to design innovative learning tools and create research-based, professional development support for new math and science teachers. Recent examples of these initiatives include a partnership between Arizona State University and Battelle to develop new technologies to educate students, a $2 million grant to the University of Florida to establish better teaching methods, and an education initiative from the Verizon Foundation to accelerate the use of mobile technology in the classroom.

$20M Awarded to 10 Public-Private Regional Partnerships Geared towards Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives

The Obama administration announced winners of the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge on Tuesday. The challenge — publicized earlier this year — is one of the key initiatives of the interagency Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters and is sponsored by a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Departments of Energy and Labor, and the Small Business Administration. Winners include programs in AZ, CA, MI, OK, TN, NY, PA, and a WA and OR bi-state partnership, each receiving approximately $2 million in grants. See the complete list of challenge winners and their reward amounts here. This is the third in a series of multiagency Jobs and Innovation Accelerator challenges administered since 2011. Learn more...

TBED and the 2012 Ballots

Voters in 37 states will decide on more than 170 ballot measures this year, many of which are related to tech-based economic development (TBED). Tax measures seem to be dominating ballots this year, with questions relating to both decreases and increases for sales, property and income taxes. Several states are counting on voters to agree to temporary increases to help fill budget deficits and ensure steady funding for education.

TBED People & Orgs

Tony Grindberg, executive director at the NDSU Research and Technology Park, has announced his resignation effective Sept. 30. He has accepted a position as the business unit manager for the Aerospace Business Unit of Appareo Systems, LLC. Appareo Systems is headquartered in the NDSU Research Park on the NDSU campus. Grindberg has been with the NDSU Research Park for the past 10 years.