SSTI Digest

Geography: Louisiana

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.

TBED People and Orgs

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

TBED People and Orgs

Leslie Guice officially was approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors to become the 14th president of Louisiana Tech University. Guice will take office July 1, 2013.

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.

Incubator Round Up

Spending time at a technology or business incubator may be the key to learning about entrepreneurship. Some universities, seeking to ramp up entrepreneurship programs, are turning to incubators as real-world teachers. A recent Washington Post article points to several business schools pairing traditional education, such as courses and lectures, with less-conventional approaches, including incubators and business competitions to prepare students for opportunities outside the classroom. Recent announcements of new and emerging technology incubators from across the U.S. and Canada are included below.

Trio of Tech-focused Tax Credits Pass in Louisiana Legislature

At the close of the 2011 legislative session in Louisiana last week, lawmakers approved three measures to encourage investment in high-tech economic endeavors. This includes renewing and enhancing the R&D tax credit and the Technology Commercialization credit and reinstating an angel investor tax credit for investment in emerging startups.

Officials in Louisiana, Rhode Island Tout Tech Hub Proposals

One is a proposed tech corridor focused on energy and environment in southeastern Louisiana and the other is being called a "knowledge district" meant to capitalize on the life sciences sector in Providence, but both have the same goal: growing high-tech industry sectors and creating high-wage jobs. Though the concept has been around for decades and is successful in many areas of the country, some states and regions are just now finding their niche and gaining support to establish tech hubs.

Expanding Tax Credits for R&D, Tech Commercialization Among Govs' Priorities in NJ, LA

Recognizing the value in supporting companies that innovate to create high-quality jobs, governors in New Jersey and Louisiana recently outlined proposals to enhance tax incentives for R&D, technology commercialization, and transferable tax certificates during the upcoming legislative sessions. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie proposed increasing the R&D tax credit to 100 percent and restoring full funding for the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer program as part of his FY12 budget recommendations. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his intentions to work with the legislature to extend and enhance two innovation-related tax incentives — the R&D tax credit and the Technology Commercialization Credit/Jobs Program — when the session convenes in April.
New Jersey

Job Corner

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber seeks an executive director for its Regional Innovation Organization (RIO). The desired candidate will be a dynamic, visionary, and entrepreneurial leader who will launch a new regional acceleration entity that will lead entrepreneurial development in the Baton Rouge area. The individual will have direct responsibility for developing programming and capacity to support best-in-class business acceleration services that prepare companies for rapid growth in the region. The individual will be charged with creating and implementing a strategy for developing an entrepreneurial culture in the region; serving as an advisor to existing incubator partners; synthesizing existing business development services and addressing existing service gaps; developing a mentoring program for high potential early stage businesses; and creating a solid network of angel, seed and early stage capital providers. The ideal individual will have seven-plus years of significant relevant experience as a highly successful serial entrepreneur, successfully managing an entrepreneur-focused organization(s), coaching start-up firms, and/or running outreach programs at chambers of commerce, research parks, or economic development organizations. Experience as an entrepreneur is a desired attribute, but it is not required. For a complete job description, please go to

TBED People

Ray Gilley resigned as chief executive of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission after nine years on the job. Gilley was responsible for helping lure the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to Central Florida.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee Pass Budgets

Several states recently enacted spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year, which started July 1 for most states. In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law the LA GRAD Act, granting universities more flexibility to raise tuition in return for meeting certain performance goals. Lawmakers in Massachusetts allocated $10 million to continue the state's investment in life sciences, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed a jobs bill providing $8 million for green economy projects, and in Tennessee, an $80 million expansion of TNInvestco, a program that allocates tax credits to create pools of venture capital, was approved.