SSTI Digest

Geography: California

State Budgets Target Investments in Workforce, Higher Education

As governors around the country begin their newest terms, their proposed budgets are beginning to take shape. Although few governors specifically target technology based economic development, after the first wave of budgets a variety of initiatives related to workforce development and higher education have garnered support. 

Tech Talkin’ Govs: CA, KY, VT Govs Pitch Energy Goals, Higher Ed Reform To Spur Economic Growth

Now in its 15th year, SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series has returned as governors across the country formally convene the 2014 legislative sessions. The series highlights new and expanded TBED proposals from governors' State of the State, Budget and Inaugural addresses. The first edition includes excerpts from speeches delivered in California, Kentucky, and Vermont. 

Universities Re-imagine Alumni Engagement With Angel Networks, Crowdfunding

Over the last several years, universities have been forced to reimagine ways that they engage with alumni beyond the traditional method of fundraising via alumni donations. These universities and their alumni associations want to increase alumni involvement and facilitate interactions between their high-achieving alumni, faculty, and students. Over this same time span, many universities have increased the size and scope of their entrepreneurship curricula and degree programs. These two trends have started to merge as there has been a rise in the number of alumni angel networks that connect the talents and capital of alumni with faculty and students looking to launch an entrepreneurial venture.

San Francisco, Austin Seek to Include More Residents in Tech Prosperity

On the heels of a recent memo from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) highlighting the difficulty middle-skill workers are having finding a route into the modern economy, reports from two tech hotspots suggest that local action is needed to ensure that tech success translates into widespread economic prosperity. San Francisco and Austin are leaders in the nation’s innovation economy and fared better than most of their peer cities through the Great Recession. However, rising housing prices and a lack of resources for middle- and low- wage workers have led to rising inequality and less robust economies in both cities.

CA Gov Signs Bill to Offer Bachelor’s Degrees in ‘High-Demand’ Fields at Community Colleges

On September 28, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 850 into law, which establishes a pilot-program that will allow 15 of the state’s community colleges to launch low-cost bachelor’s degree programs in vocational fields of high demand by state industries. This bill makes California the 22nd state to offer state residents the opportunity to earn a low-cost bachelor’s degree at a local community college.

CA, MN University Systems Take Different Approaches to Startup Support

Within the past month, two of America’s major research universities – the University of California system (first in total R&D expenditures, according to the NSF) and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (eleventh in total R&D expenditures) announced new funds to increase the rate at which their students, faculties, and researchers are able to commercialize their ideas into new businesses. While the UC system announced the establishment of a $250 million venture fund, Minnesota announced that it was scrapping a plan for a $70 million investment fund and was pursuing programs that provide early stage seed funding instead. Universities are likely to continue to play a role in providing financial assistance as a means of commercializing university technologies; however, as can be seen in the Minnesota case and in several others throughout the country, a traditional venture capital fund is not the only method to do so.

Los Angeles Leads U.S. Metros in Manufacturing Jobs

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area is home to the largest number of manufacturing jobs in the country, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Approximately 510,900 people are employed by manufacturing firms in the Los Angeles metro, about 100,000 more than in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area, which is ranked second for manufacturing employment. Other top metros include New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. Of the top 10 metros in which manufacturing jobs represent the highest percentage of total employment, seven are in the Great Lakes region, with several in both Indiana and Wisconsin. Read the release…

Lawmakers Tackle Workforce, STEM and Higher Ed Policy

This article is part of SSTI's series on trends in state technology-based economic development legislation in 2014. Read our other entries covering legislative action on patent reform, research capacity, technology commercialization & infrastructure, tax credits & STEM and manufacturing & clusters.

Industry Support Boosts Chances of Tech Commercialization, Study Indicates

Corporate-sponsored research resulted in licenses and patents much more frequently than federally sponsored projects at the campuses of the University of California system between 1990 and 2010, according to findings published in Nature. While federally funded research produced licenses in 22 percent of cases, 29 percent of industry-supported projects led to licenses. Federally supported projects led to licenses 26 percent of the time, while corporate research did so in 29 percent of cases.  Corporate sponsorship also led to more citations in future patents. This was true across technology fields.

PA, WI, NY, CA Universities Launch Initiatives to Fuel Entrepreneurial Economy

In an effort to help spur economic prosperity, several universities have unveiled new initiatives to connect potential entrepreneurs with university resources and help integrate the entrepreneurs into their region’s innovation ecosystem. In partnership with other organizations, these programs are intended to position each respective university as a driver of regional economic development through the provision of education, training initiatives and other support services. The initiatives include new programs at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, Carroll University in Wisconsin and New York University (NYU).  The Blackstone Charitable Foundation also announced it will expand LaunchPad, a university-led entrepreneurship program, to a partnership that includes three universities in Southern California.

NIST MEP Awards MTAC pilots in CA, GA, OR, TX, WI

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program recently awarded $2.5 million for five pilot projects to improve small U.S. manufacturers' supply chain competitiveness and foster their readiness to adopt advanced technologies. The projects will be led by MEP centers and bring together teams of experts in specific technology areas. MEP centers in California, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin each will receive approximately $500,000 for the pilot efforts, which, in most cases, involve partners in other states. Read the announcement…

Highly Educated Workers Gravitate To, Between New York, Los Angeles and Chicago

Los Angeles County (CA), New York County (NY) and Cook County (IL) topped the list of places where people older than 25 with graduate or professional degrees moved to between 2007 and 2011, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s County-to-County Migration Flows Tables. Middlesex County (MA) and Fairfax County (VA) also ranked among the top destinations for highly educated transplants. The Census report provides data on domestic migration at the county level, including data on income and educational attainment. The report reveals that large flows of educated workers move both into and between these top counties. Read the Census report…