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Funding Local and Regional TBED Activities in Down Years

September 15, 2009

The current fiscal pressures on regional technology-based economic development initiatives have been never greater than they are now. And, as the article above points out, things are going to get worse over 2010 and 2011 before they get better.

Additionally, since local communities became proactive partners with their universities, businesses, tech councils, civic organizations, and states to support economic growth through innovation, the need for local TBED never has been greater. Economists and policy wonks agree: the next economy is being built on innovation and technology.

So how will you sustain or jumpstart your regional TBED initiatives as traditional sources of funding contract?

SSTI is dedicating several sessions at our upcoming Annual Conference specifically to help answer that question for local, nonprofit, university and state TBED programs. Here are some highlights:

Setting Your Federal Agenda: Working with Your Congressional Delegation
Often overlooked or viewed primarily as a vehicle by which to earmark federal funds, your congressional delegation can be a key partner in building a tech-based economy. But for it to be an effective partnership, you need to think through exactly what your agenda should be and how the delegation can help. This session will examine how to go about defining the agenda, who to involve in the process, how to communicate the agenda to decisionmakers, and implement the strategy with the congressional delegation. Presenter:

  • Thomas V. Thornton, President and CEO, Kansas Biotechnology Authority

Telling Your TBED Story
Survival in fiscally challenging times requires doing good work, measuring the results of your good work, and telling people about the good work that you're doing. Do you find describing the impact of your activities a challenge? Understanding the needs of your target audiences - and they are many and varied - is critical to delivering the right message at the right time to the right people. We will hear from a team from the Georgia Research Alliance, one of the field's most widely recognized programs - known internationally for their success, in part, because of the tips they will share in this session. Presenters are:

  • Brian Brodrick, Jackson Spalding
  • Kathie Robichaud, Director of Communication, Georgia Research Alliance

Securing Federal Support for Your TBED Agenda
The Obama administration has brought technology-based initiatives to the forefront of the national recovery agenda. State and local governments will play a vital role in planning and executing federally-funded efforts across the country. This session will provide an overview of federal programs that may be leveraged to support local TBED initiatives and insight into how to make strategic make use of these funds. Presenters are:

  • Robert E. Olson, Regional Director, Economic Development Administration
  • Phillip Singerman, Senior Vice President, B&D Consulting, LLC

Alternative Approaches for Reaching TBED Goals
State coffers will continue to tighten for the foreseeable future - at the same time, the need for solid tech-based economic development efforts escalates. In addition, foundation endowments have shriveled, making many of them less viable sources of cash. In this session, we'll look at enterprising TBED approaches that are being undertaken by organizations that are not dependent on public funding to accomplish their goals. Presenters are:

  • Craig Bott, President & CEO, Grow Utah Ventures
  • Ted McAleer, Executive Director, USTAR - Utah Science Technology and Research
  • Josh O'Brien, Senior Business Development Manager - Biosciences, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
  • Tom Walker, President & CEO, I2E
  • Sandra Watson, Assistant Deputy Director, Innovation & Global Business Development, Arizona Dept of Commerce

The investment of your registration fee will be well worth it for your organization based on the knowledge gained through these sessions alone. But the benefits keep coming as there are more than a dozen other breakout sessions, plenary sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities packed into an intense 2.5 days. More information, including a registration form is available at: http://www.ssticonference.org

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