SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Louisiana

Govs Focus on Education in AL, LA, OK, PA, TN Budget Proposals

SSTI’s analysis of gubernatorial addresses, strategic plans and budget proposals continues this week with highlights from Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Governors are facing difficult fiscal situations in several of these states, often scaling back tech-based economic development efforts. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, however, is using a fiscal surplus to invest in higher education and regionally focused economic initiatives.

Alabama

Budget Update: Economic Development Remains Priority Despite Contentious Debates in Many States

Now that many governors have signed spending bills and legislative sessions are drawing to a close, the SSTI Digest will check on the status of proposals related to the innovation economy, and examine the state of technology-based economic development funding in the states. This week, we review spending bills in Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont.

Delta Regional Authority Forms 35-Member Public-Private Research, Innovation Consortium

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced the establishment of a consortium for research and innovation that is intended to have a long-term positive economic impact on the region. The 35-member consortium will be comprised of universities and other private and public institutions in eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

LA Universities Urged to Take Greater Leadership Role in State's Tech Economy

In order to build a prosperous, globally competitive economy in Louisiana, state universities must take on a greater role as hubs of regional innovation, according to a report from the Public Affairs Research (PAR) Council of Louisiana. The report includes 46 recommendations to transform the state's economy by revamping existing innovation programs, and boosting university research. PAR's strategic plan is based on a review of innovation policies in other states, particularly Georgia and the work of the Georgia Research Alliance.

Innovative Economic Development a Priority in PA, NC Budget Proposals

Several governors released their proposed budgets over the last two weeks, and while some states continue to deal with budget shortfalls that prevent many new initiatives from coming into fruition, governors in Pennsylvania and North Carolina included numerous proposals focused on innovation and economic development. Additionally, governors in Louisiana and Massachusetts highlighted new workforce development proposals. 

Pennsylvania

Universities, Public-Private Partners Launch Commercialization Funds in IN, LA, PA, WA

Purdue University, the University City Science Center, and Washington State University announced the creation of new investment funds to support the growth of university-affiliated startups in their respective communities. These three recently announced commercialization funds all share a common trend – they will be managed or assisted in the management process via public-private partnerships. In Baton Rouge, LA, the Research Park Corporation also announced the creation of a fund to assist Louisiana State University researchers compete for commercialization funding from the university.

Lawmakers Tackle Workforce, STEM and Higher Ed Policy

Addressing accessibility, affordability and ensuring workforce preparedness topped legislators’ agendas in many states during the 2014 sessions. States and regions are increasingly competing for talent as the trend toward growing and nurturing innovation ecosystems continues.

LA Lawmakers Challenge Higher Ed to Meet Workforce Needs with $40M Incentive Fund

A project underway between IBM and Louisiana State University’s School of Engineering aims to better meet employer needs by tripling the number of computer science graduates in five years. Hoping to generate more partnerships like these, lawmakers approved legislation supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal that allows colleges and universities to compete for funds in an effort to produce graduates in high-demand areas. A smaller percentage of the funds distributed under the new Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE) Fund will be based on federally funded research expenditures.

New Commercialization Efforts Launched by Universities, Industry Partners

University-focused initiatives that help bring new technologies and products to market help drive regional economic development and encourage an entrepreneurial culture on campuses. SSTI’s latest Trends in TBED report featured a number of commercialization efforts launched in 2013, including university-based funds to support ideas from faculty, staff and alumni. So far, 2014 also has proven active in this area with the announcement of several new initiatives to support university technology startups.

People on the Move & TBED Organization Updates

Robbie Melton has been named the executive director and CEO of the High Technology Development Corporation.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has appointed Louisiana Tech University president Les Guice to chair the Louisiana Innovation Council.

FL, LA Govs Challenge Educators to Develop Top-Notch STEM Workforce

Filling the pipeline with skilled workers able to perform the high-tech jobs employers say are sitting vacant has long been advocated by state leaders and policymakers as essential to competing in the global economy. Governors in Florida and Louisiana are stepping up efforts this legislative session with proposed multi-million dollar investments through training and scholarship programs to change the landscape of their states’ workforce.

TBED People and Orgs

Sean Greene has joined the Case Foundation as entrepreneur in residence. Greene most recently served as associate administrator for Investment and special advisor for Innovation at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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