SSTI Digest

Geography: International

Venture Capital Dollars Leaving U.S. As Industry Goes Global

New evidence suggests that venture capitalists increasingly view international investment as the future of the industry. The 2009 Global Venture Capital Survey, conducted by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Deloitte, finds that 52 percent of venture capitalists around the world are currently investing outside their home country. Most investors also believe that their involvement with international partners will increase in the near future. Fifty-four percent of respondents predict that their number of limited partners outside their home country will increase over the next three years. Overseas investment means new opportunities for venture firms, but for U.S. firms, particularly those in areas without a strong local venture industry, this trend could mean that attracting the attention of investors will soon become even more difficult that it is now.

U.S. Only 6th among G20 Nations for Green Stimulus Investments

Green stimulus investments have the potential to yield a greater number of jobs and greater long-term prosperity than traditional stimulus investments, according to a new study presented at the recent G20 summit. The report examines the stimulus packages passed in the G20 countries, particularly their relative emphasis on spending related to sustainability. Since G20 members are responsible for three-quarters of the world's wealth, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the measures taken by these countries represent the forefront of the effort to combat global climate change. In addition, the study argues that these investments are the most effective use of stimulus funds.

ITIF Ranks U.S. Last in Progress on Innovation and Competitiveness

A recent Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) report ranks the U.S. last among 40 countries in progress toward creating an innovation-based economy over the past decade. The findings contradict several other studies that continue to depict the U.S. as the global leader in economic competitiveness. E-government, broadband, trade balance and corporate R&D were particularly weak areas for U.S. progress relative to other countries. ITIF warns that the U.S. economy will continue its decline in innovation unless federal policymakers recognize the need for a national innovation strategy.

Scotland Universities to Direct Nearly 11 Percent of Funding on Pursuing Innovation

The Scottish Government announced last month a funding plan for the university system that directs more than 10 percent of current funding into a new Horizon Fund created to make targeted investments in research, technology transfer, and entrepreneurial development.

Communities Around the World Celebrate First Global Entrepreneurship Week

This week an estimated five million people will celebrate the first annual Global Entrepreneurship Week by taking part in one of the 13,000 events planned worldwide. Founded by the United Kingdom's Mark Your Mark campaign and the U.S.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week is designed to foster innovation and ambition in people under 30 to encourage them to participate in the innovation economy and start new businesses. The initiative has found support from several high-profile world leaders like U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Singaporean President S.R. Nation, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

Universities Perform more than One-Third of Canadian R&D, Thirteen Percent of U.S. R&D

Universities in Canada are a major component of the country's science and technology ecosystem, and as gauged by funding, they performed 36 percent of Canada's R&D activities in 2007. In the U.S. comparatively, universities accounted for 13 percent of the R&D performed in the country. A breakdown of both the performing sectors and sources of R&D funding are included in two recent publications: Momentum: The 2008 Report on University Research and Knowledge Mobilization by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and an August InfoBrief by the National Science Foundation.

EU Promises $1.28 Billion for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Initiative

Bank bailouts may be capturing all of the headlines, but a new initiative from the European Union (EU) promises to inject a considerable pool of money during the downturn to accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The European Commission, as well as participants from the European research community and industry will contribute nearly 1 billion Euros (U.S. $1.28 billion) to the public-private partnership over the next six years to fund research. Stakeholders believe that this effort will help speed the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by two to five years, and are hoping for a mass-market rollout of these technologies before 2020.

University of Waterloo Opens "Dorm-cubator" Residence to Student Entrepreneurs

Cluster strategies show proximity is seen as an important requirement for tacit knowledge flows and the resulting economic development benefits of innovation and entrepreneurship. Research by Barak Aharonson, Joel Baum, and Maryann Feldman showed spillover benefits of agglomeration for businesses are strongest within 500 meters of a site.

TBED People

Microsystems and Nanotechnology Product Center Opens in Alberta

The Alberta Center for Advanced Microsystems and Nanotechnology Products (ACAMP), funded with $8 million from the provincial Alberta government and $3.5 million from the Canadian government, recently commenced operations in the Edmonton Research Park. The new program will be structured around three central components to assist commercialization in this area: packaging and assembly, product development, and marketing.
As identified in the federal government’s science and technology strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage (see the May 21, 2007 issue of the Digest), Alberta is poised to become a leader of Canada’s nanotechnology industry, as the province is home to Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology. ACAMP was developed in coordination with Alberta’s $130 million five-year nanotechnology strategy announced in 2007, which includes the goal of obtaining two percent of the world’s nanotech market by 2020.
More information on ACAMP can be found at:

Research Park RoundUp

The following overview is a synopsis of select recent announcements from research parks across the world, including groundbreakings and development plans to support vibrant regional economies based on science, technology and innovation. 
The Armenian government recently allocated 80 million drams (est. $266,000 USD) from this year’s state budget to build a technopark in Gyumri, reports the ArmInfo News Agency. Armenian Minister of Trade and Economic Development Nerses Yeritsyan said that all main higher education institutes of Gyumri, as well as several international organizations and donors, are involved in the project, which is slated for completion by the end of the year.
New York Gov. David Paterson announced plans earlier this year for the creation of the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center, as part of a redevelopment plan in downtown Syracuse. Officials estimate the research complex will cost $30 million to $40 million and will support biotechnology educational and research programs, with collaboration from SUNY Upstate Medical University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Preliminary plans for the complex include a biotechnical research center, classrooms and research space. SUNY Upstate Medical University also will seek proposals from developers to create commercial projects and student residences.
Planning is underway for an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University technology and business park in Prescott, Ariz. The development will span 250 acres adjacent to the aeronautical university and include a recreational complex and space for light industrial, campus living and commercial and retail development, according to an article in the Phoenix Business Journal. The park will be powered by a 50-acre solar power plant, making it the first LEED-certified business park in the nation, the article states. Construction on the first phase, a technology building that received $2 million from the Economic Development Authority in Northern Arizona, is expected to begin in 2009. The total cost of the technology park is estimated between $8 million and $12 million.
Developers broke ground in June on the 105-acre Harmony Technology Park located in Fort Collins, Colo. The development was previously part of the Hewlett-Packard campus and received approval for up to 1.3 million sq. ft. of office space. The mixed-use facility includes sites ranging from 2-30 acres for office, flex R&D, light manufacturing and retail space. 
The High Desert University Foundation recently announced plans for the new High Desert University in California, which includes an R&D park to be built on land owned by the university with tenants making lease payments to the school, according to an article in the Daily Press. The research center also will provide students with built-in opportunities for mentors, internships and future careers, the article states. Early plans released by the foundation include 24 buildings with about 5 million square feet of space. The research park is expected to generate approximately $50 million annually toward the university’s operating expenses.
Liverpool City Region officials are hoping to expand the digital and pharmaceutical sectors with the recent launch of Liverpool Innovation Park. The park encompasses nearly 1 million sq. ft. for office, R&D and light industrial space with units ranging from 500 sq. ft. to 80,000 sq. ft. The development is reserved for businesses in the science, information, communications and knowledge-based sectors. 
Officials at Louisiana Tech University announced last month a location for the newly renamed Enterprise Campus, a $25 million research park expected to break ground in July 2009, according to an article in The News-Star. The university allocated property across from Bogard Hall, which officials hope to extend into downtown Ruston, encompassing 50 acres, the article states. The technology park will house companies affiliated with the university’s expanded research in cyberspace and nanotechnology, biomedical engineering and micromanufacturing.
A new 55-acre business and technology park was recently built in Kalispell, Mont. The Old School Station business park is a public-private partnership offering two Tax Increment Financing designations – light industrial and high technology.
Site work for the 12-acre Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park located next to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was recently completed. Located in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley on land provided by the Department of Energy, the technology park will be available for private sector companies collaborating with scientists at ORNL. Construction on the park’s anchor tenant is expected to begin soon.
Last month, the Pellissippi Research Centre received $2 million in federal grants, which officials say will help the project move forward with infrastructure, reports the Knoxville News-Sentinel. When completed, the technology park will span 450 acres on the Oak Ridge Corridor – 230 of which will be dedicated to R&D and corporate office space. The Blount County Economic Development Board estimates the park will generate more than $1 billion in economic impact over the course of the 20- to 30-year project.
Sanford Health broke ground in June on a new 185-acre research park in Sioux Falls, S.D. – one of two new technology parks to be constructed in the region over the last several months. The first phase of the Sanford Research Park is slated for completion in 2011 and includes more than 2 million sq. ft. for office, research and light manufacturing buildings. Located near the campus of Southeast Technical Institute, the South Dakota Business Technology Park is a 190-acre private park that will house businesses developed by graduates of nearby South Dakota Technology Business Center, according to an article in the Argus Leader
Construction will begin this fall in St. Cloud, Fla., on a 100,000-square-foot medical and technology center designed to attract biotech firms, reports the Orlando Business Journal. The St. Cloud Medical Arts and Technology Park will include a 10,000-square-foot imaging center, a 10,000-square-foot surgical center, 30,000 sq. ft. of technology incubator space and 50,000 sq. ft. of medical office space for lease. Additionally, the tech park may house the University of Central Florida’s sixth technology incubator facility, according to the Orlando Business Journal article.
Earlier this year, the University of Miami (UM) released details of its plan for a life sciences research park that will offer office and laboratory space for companies collaborating with UM researchers. The 1.4 million-square-foot facility also will house UM sensory research institutes and focus on translation of research into the marketplace. University officials planned to break ground during the summer of 2009; however, legislation that was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist in June may disrupt the progress, according to a Miami Herald article. The bill would have enabled the university to speed up approval of the project by allowing a bypass of lengthy state and regional reviews, the article states.
A Colorado-based developer is partnering with the Lee County Port Authority to build a research park on land near the old Southwest Florida International Airport in close proximity to the Florida Gulf Coast University. The location is ideal for attracting medical researchers, pharmaceutical companies and biotech industries, according to media reports. The Madden Research Loop will include 275,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space within four buildings on a total of 25 acres of land.

U.S. Completes $531M Contribution to Large Hadron Collider Project

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation recently announced that the U.S. had completed its contribution to the international Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Project on budget and ahead of schedule. By the end of the year, the LHC at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory near Geneva will generate its first particle collisions and research output. Total U.S. contribution to the project is about $531 million of the $5.89 billion cost of the project. Although the U.S. is not a CERN member state, U.S. scientists will comprise the largest contingent from any single nation.