SSTI Digest

Geography: Georgia

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.

Georgia, Virginia Lawmakers Expand Investments in Research, Cybersecurity

As the 2013 legislative session draws to a close for several states, lawmakers approved measures to create new opportunities for economic growth or expand investments in programs demonstrating positive outcomes. Lawmakers in Georgia increased funding for established university-based research initiatives and set up a state-run venture capital fund to invest in innovative companies. In Virginia, a new cybersecurity accelerator will help propel technology and companies in an emerging sector.

TBED People and Orgs

Mark Lytle has been named the University System of Georgia's new vice chancellor for economic development.

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part III

The third installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana and Michigan. Our first two installments were in the Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 issues of the Digest.

GA Colleges Detail Plans to Add 250,000 Post-Secondary Grads by 2020

Responding to Gov. Nathan Deal's Complete College Georgia initiative launched last year, all of the state's institutions in the University System and Technical College System have submitted plans for how they will meet the governor's goal of adding 250,000 post-secondary graduates to the state by 2020. For Georgia's research universities, graduating more students translates to more workers prepared to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Some of the strategies include enhancing instructional delivery and improving access for underrepresented groups and military veterans.

Georgia Lawmakers Pass Measure to Enhance Tax Credits, Boost Research Funding

Lawmakers last month approved a $19.3 billion state budget for FY13, which includes funding for many of the recommendations from a task force convened by Gov. Nathan Deal to enhance the state's innovation economy. Specifically, the budget boosts funding for the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) to recruit researchers and allocates $5 million for cancer-related research. The legislature also passed a measure expanding the Georgia Jobs tax credits and R&D tax credit.

Georgia Plan, Budget Support Efforts to Enhance Research Capacity

A survey of Georgia's 12 regions finds collaboration and leveraging assets to support existing businesses are most critical for enhancing the innovation economy. In support of these efforts, a task force convened by Gov. Nathan Deal recommends increasing funds for the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), extending the state's angel investor tax credit, and marketing the state to promote its research and innovation assets. Gov. Deal unveiled last week the findings of the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, led by a group of business leaders and government officials tasked with identifying regional and statewide factors affecting the state's competitiveness. The initiative centered on six areas, including Business Climate, Education and Workforce Development, Innovation, Infrastructure, Global Commerce, and Government Efficiency and Effectiveness. Among the strategies for investing in innovation is continued support and expansion of GRA — namely an increase in funds for the Eminent Scholars program, which matches university funds for recruiting world-class researchers to the state. Gov. Deal's FY13 budget boosts GRA funding within the Department of Economic Development by $1.5 million to recruit two new scholars who typically bring research teams and additional private and federal research funds. GRA would receive $14 million in state funding under the governor's proposal, which is up from about $7.5 million last year (see the May 25, 2011 issue of the Digest). GRA also will manage the Georgia Cancer Coalition, which previously operated as an independent nonprofit organization. The coalition is primarily funded by the state's tobacco settlement and would receive $6.8 million in FY13 under the governor's proposal. Additional recommendations include extending the Angel Investor Tax Credit by five years to 2018, capitalizing on state assets to promote economic development in rural parts of the state, and developing a marketing campaign to promote the state's research and innovation assets. The report is available at: Gov. Deal's budget for FY13 also includes $5 million for cancer-related research at Georgia Health Sciences University. The funding would be used to hire research faculty and provide for equipment and infrastructure enhancements.

Invest Atlanta Intends to Focus on Jobs and Competitiveness

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled Invest Atlanta — the city's new economic development authority that places a renewed effort on job creation and competitiveness. Invest Atlanta will work primarily to attract new investment, grow international trade, fuel innovation and support entrepreneurship. Mayor Reed said, "[Invest Atlanta] represents an effort to modernize our approach to investment, attracting businesses, foreign capital and trade." Mayor Reed, who serves as chairperson of the nine-member board of directors, also announced that the organization is tasked with developing a new regional economic growth strategy. Invest Atlanta intends to leverage the benefits of bond financing, revolving loan funds, housing financing, tax increment financing and tax credits to achieve their economic development goals. Invest Atlanta will be headed by President and CEO Brian McGowan, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce under President Obama. McGowan said, "Invest Atlanta will continue to honor its traditional mission but will place a renewed emphasis and focus on ensuring that the city has the right atmosphere to help existing companies grow and attract new companies. Our new name shows we will work to get companies to invest in Atlanta creating jobs and economic opportunity for all of our residents."

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part I

SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series has returned for its 12th annual edition. The series highlights new and expanded TBED proposals from governors' State of the State, Budget and Inaugural addresses across the nation. The first installment includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Georgia, Iowa, New York, Kentucky, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, State of the State Address, Jan. 10, 2012 "... I want to announce two ambitious goals. Georgians deserve a world-class, public medical university, and it will be a priority of this administration to have a medical college among the top 50 nationally. ... "... Also within this push, the Georgia Health Sciences University will seek to become the state's second National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center ... This designation would mean greater access to research dollars and enhance our ability to recruit top cancer specialists. "... To support this goal of a second Georgia-based Cancer Center, my budget proposal includes an investment of $5 million. ... "... Businesses require a talented workforce and strong infrastructure, but they also require a business environment that allows them to compete in today's global marketplace. "With that in mind, the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative pulled together business leaders and more than 4,000 Georgians across the state to develop a strategy that would improve our business case. ... "... First, I am proposing the elimination of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, a move that will align us with many of our top competitors. This will have a dramatic impact on manufacturers' overall cost structure and vastly improve the competitive position of our producers. ... "... A third piece, we are proposing to restructure Georgia's Job Tax Credits and Quality Jobs Tax Credit programs. ... We will modernize our job tax credits to better incentivize small business growth and to help every Georgia community compete with their regional peers." Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Condition of the State Address, Jan. 10, 2012 "... I am today proposing a four point plan of action — a focused initiative designed to help create the jobs we need today and the careers we need tomorrow. ... "... Last year the legislature directed us to create a replacement for the Grow Iowa Values Fund and we are proposing a new $25 million annual investment in our existing High Quality Jobs Program. ... "In addition, my proposal will be structured so state investments in the program will decline over time so the program will be self-funding within 10 years as a direct result of the jobs it brings to Iowa. "The third component of my jobs and careers action plan will encourage those small businesses that supply key components to our strong manufacturing sector to grow their facilities and create new jobs in Iowa. ... I will offer legislation that removes the barriers that discourage suppliers from bringing their businesses close to their best Iowa customers." Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, State of the Commonweatlh Address, Jan. 4, 2012 "We need a way to encourage a type of private investment called 'angel investing,' in which individuals help fund new companies. Mid-level entrepreneurs are in particular need of funding, because many are too small to attract big venture capital and too large for other forms of start-up assistance. "Rep. Arnold Simpson has come forward again with a bill to create tax credits for individual angel investors similar to those already offered for investment funds. What this means is that Kentuckians who invest in Kentucky start-ups to create Kentucky jobs would receive a credit on their Kentucky income taxes. "At least 22 states offer a similar credit, and it is time for Kentucky to add this job-creation program to its toolbox." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State of the State Address, Jan. 4, 2012 "We know from experience that large investments in growth industries can pay substantial dividends. Twenty-five years ago, the state began investing in the Albany area's high-tech industry. ... We can do it again. We did it in Albany, and we can do it in Buffalo. ... "... So, today, I say to national and global industries: Come to Buffalo. The State of New York is ready to invest $1 billion in a multi-year package of economic development incentives. ... "... Let's empower the Buffalo Regional Council to develop a viable plan to create thousands of jobs and to spur at least $5 billion in new investment and economic activity." South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, State of the State Address, Jan. 10, 2012 "Today I am proposing an effort we're calling 'South Dakota WINS,' short for 'South Dakota Workforce Initiatives.' South Dakota WINS is a twenty-point plan, in four categories, to get more South Dakotans trained and ready to work in a rapidly growing and changing South Dakota economy. "The first component of South Dakota WINS emphasizes math and science education by rewarding math and science teachers for teaching in this high-demand field. ... " ... The fourth category of our workforce initiative involves recruiting workers to South Dakota. South Dakota WINS when our working population grows by welcoming new skilled workers and encouraging the return of those who have left. ... "... Today I am announcing an innovative and first-of-its-kind relationship to attract a new generation of skilled pioneers to our state. The 'New South Dakotans' initiative will partner state government with South Dakota businesses and with Manpower, the world's largest workforce recruiter. Together we will work to identify and place 1,000 professional and skilled workers from outside of our state into jobs here in South Dakota. ... The program will focus on high-demand jobs in industries without enough in-state professionals to meet demand. ... "... I mentioned earlier the importance of math and science education to our future workforce needs ... Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the state will pay every middle school and high school math or science teacher a bonus of $3500." Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, State of the State Address, Jan. 5, 2012 "In my budget address next week ... I will propose significant state investments in higher education and dual enrollment, all aimed at making Vermont students even more competitive and creating opportunities for employers to recruit the employees they are now seeking. ... "... This session, I will propose requiring an affordable and achievable Renewable Energy Portfolio standard that sets a goal to obtain 75 percent renewable electricity in 20 years." Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, State of the Commonwealth Address, Jan. 11, 2012 "This session, I am asking you to put $38 million more into targeted programs that spur job creation. "I have proposed state incentives and initiatives for ... technology, modeling and simulation, cyber security, international marketing, workforce development, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences. ... "... I am also proposing a new investor tax credit to provide working capital to small businesses which create 70 percent of the new jobs in America, and the extension of time during which the major business facility job tax credit may be taken. ... "... I am asking you to invest over $200 million in new funding for our colleges and universities. "Additionally, I am proposing a dynamic new funding model for higher education that ties new general funds to achieving our statutory goals. Institutions will be rewarded for increasing the number of degrees, especially in STEM-H fields; improving graduation rates, and expanding practical research. ... "... We will also continue to pursue the development of alternative sources of energy like solar, wind and biomass, as long as they are cost-competitive for consumers. ... That is why I have included $500,000 in the FY13 budget for research and development to accelerate and assist private development of the Virginia Wind Energy Area."

Legislators in GA, KY Push Capital Measures in Upcoming Sessions

Lawmakers and technology industry leaders in Georgia and Kentucky are hoping to establish capital programs during the 2012 legislative sessions in an effort to support new business creation and remain competitive with states already offering lucrative incentives.

TBED People and Job Opportunities

James Weyhenmeyer has been named the vice president for Research and Economic Development at Georgia State University. Previously, Weyhenmeyer was the senior vice provost for Research and Economic Development in the Office of the Provost of the State University of New York system. He succeeds Robin Morris, who has assumed the position of associate provost for Strategic Initiatives and innovation.

GRA's Integration with Centers of Innovation Focuses on Recruitment

To more closely align Georgia's efforts to market and promote strategic industries to existing and potential companies, Georgia's Centers of Innovation (COI) program will be integrated with the programs of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA). The move follows the legislature's decision to transfer funding for GRA's strategic economic development initiatives from the Board of Regents' Research Consortium program to the Department of Economic Development Innovation and Technology Division.