SSTI Digest

Geography: Kentucky

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.

NIST Designates New MEP Centers in SD, KY

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded cooperative agreements to organizations in South Dakota and Kentucky to fill absences of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. After 10 years, South Dakota will again have an MEP center — the South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions, housed at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. NIST has provided $400,000 to South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions for the center. Previously, South Dakota had been served by the North Dakota MEP center. Kentucky's new MEP center will be operated by Advantage Kentucky Alliance, which received nearly $490,000 to start the center at Western Kentucky University. Read more...

Governor's School For Entrepreneurs Launched in Kentucky

In an attempt to leverage the economic promise of young people, the state of Kentucky is launching a new public-private initiative designed to enhance creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills. The Governor's School of Entrepreneurs will be launched this summer as an experiential program that brings together representatives from Kentucky's science, engineering, design, entrepreneurial, and higher education communities to teach promising high school students from across the state on business fundamentals, entrepreneurship, product design, and creative thinking. The program is modeled after the long-running Governor's Scholars program for academically gifted students.

Kentucky Beefs Up, Rebrands Network to Support Entrepreneurs

To better serve all parts of the state by connecting experienced mentors with startup companies, the Kentucky Innovation Network has a new name and logo, a tighter focus, and expanded services. Established in 2002 as the Innovation and Commercialization Center program, the Kentucky Innovation Network will offer services to entrepreneurs from 13 locations across the state, and as part of the re-branding effort, three smaller centers will be upgraded to full-service centers. The centers offer services such as business mentoring, assistance to growth strategy and access to funding and capital networks. Officials say the new name complements an increased emphasis on promoting the network's statewide, multi-office capabilities and resources. Read more...

Kentucky's Innovation Economy Review in Report

Businesses that received Kentucky incentives reported creating 55,173 jobs between 2001 and 2010, according to a report from the Anderson Economic Group (AEG). In addition, each year approximately 33,000 jobs were maintained due to the incentives. In 2010, the gross cost to the commonwealth was $140 million and averaged $3,330 per job per year between 2001 and 2010. The report's authors also compared Kentucky to 15 peer states (e.g., Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina) and provided ways to encourage growth in knowledge-based industries. Read the report...

TBED People & Orgs

Richard Bendis has been named the first president and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early stage funding in Central Maryland.

Mid-Session Update on State TBED Proposals

As many states near the mid-point of their 2012 legislative sessions, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the bills advancing in statehouses that could impact states' efforts to improve economic conditions. Several states are seeking to advance access to capital initiatives as they continue to struggle with declining revenue and tight credit restrictions. The following overview provides a sampling of TBED bills supporting access to capital, R&D enhancements and higher education standards.

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.

Governors' Races and Ballot Preview 2011

In what is considered typical for an odd-numbered year, only 34 questions have been certified in nine statewide ballots this election year. Some of those measures include redirecting funds to support higher education, revenue enhancements for states, and repealing legislation that limits collective bargaining for public employees.

Mayors Unveil Initiatives to Improve Cities' Competitiveness

From undertaking a joint regional initiative to improve two cities' competitiveness in advanced manufacturing to launching an effort for engaging venture capital companies and bringing in top university students to showcase area opportunities, mayors in Lexington and Louisville, Boston and Chicago recognize the value in promoting their cities as top destinations for growing tech-based economies. While each of the three recent announcements detailed below target different sectors of the innovation economy, they share the same mission of making their region more desirable for startups.

Research Park RoundUp

Included below are recent development plans and groundbreaking news for research parks announced by officials in Connecticut, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.