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: Massachusetts

MA authorizes more than $1 billion in new economic development activities

The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2018 session with a slate of bills related to tech-based economic development. Legislation for general economic development, life sciences industry, and green communities created new authorizations and provided for more than $1 billion in bond funding authority, with a substantial portion allocation to innovation-related activities. From broadband access to SBIR support to workforce development, the bills created a host of new opportunities for TBED in the Bay State.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

Massachusetts advances new manufacturing, apprenticeship funding in last state budget of FY 2019

Nearly a month after the start of the new fiscal year, Massachusetts legislators have approved an FY 2019 budget. Science and innovation stakeholders may find it worth the wait. Included in the $42 billion budget are new funding for a precision manufacturing initiative that will fund multiple, local activities ($2.7 million) and $500,000 for registered apprenticeships.

Workforce winning in latest state budget proposals; KS, MA, MI, OK, TN reviewed

Workforce development programs and apprenticeships continue to win favor in many of the governors’ state budget proposals. In our latest review of TBED initiatives being proposed in state budgets, we found Kansas asking for additional funds for research, worker training and apprenticeships; Massachusetts is looking to double community college scholarship funding and increase several workforce development initiatives; and in Michigan, skilled trades training would receive a boost.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 4: CA, HI, MA, MI, ND, SC, WI

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature continues as governors across the country roll out their state of the state addresses. We review each speech for comments relevant to the innovation economy, and bring you their words directly from their addresses. In this fourth installment, we present excerpts from governors in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

This week’s review includes states like California with its goal for lower carbon output to Hawaii and Massachusetts who are looking to increase their use of renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, energy-dependent North Dakota is looking to diversify its economy and Wisconsin seeks ways to build its workforce.

MI and VA see increases in TBED budget, while MA Gov vetoes some line items

Funding for TBED programs took a hit under Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker, who vetoed millions of dollars in programs that the legislature had approved in the FY 2018 state budget. Michigan programs fared better with funding maintained to diversify the state’s economy and funding for entrepreneurship ecosystems getting a boost. And in Virginia, after a messy budget process addressing an addendum to its biennial budget, many innovation programs saw increases.

MA Gov proposes $500M for life sciences

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a legislative proposal that would provide $500 million over five years for the life sciences sector, extending the state’s commitment to the biotech and medical technology industry. The money would be used for strategic investments in public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training and education.

Universities announce investment funds for local startups

While many universities maintain startup investment funds targeted at growing university-affiliated startups, several universities are looking beyond their walls for investment opportunities that will create a return on investment (ROI), but also support economic prosperity. Through these investment funds, universities are able to make strategic investment in startups that will contribute to the future growth of their community, region and state. Massachusetts provides a recent example where MIT will invest $25 million in local startups.

LA, MA and NC budgets support innovation, tech-based development

Proposed state budgets in Louisiana, Massachusetts and North Carolina show support for innovation and higher education, with some states better positioned in their levels of support while some programs are experiencing cuts. North Carolina unveiled new programs supporting a variety of tech-based economic development initiatives, while Louisiana is restoring full funding for its state scholarships for residents despite its budget deficit.

Nine states explore science policy fellowships

After training nearly 80 PhD scientists and engineers in the craft of policy making, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) has awarded planning grants to nine other states to evaluate the potential to create a policy fellowship for scientists and engineers in their state capital. The new one-year grant, which is administered by CCST and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, will support teams in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington as they work on feasibility studies and other strategic steps toward creating science fellowships in their state policy arenas.

Tech Talkin’ Govs Part IV: governors talk change, new administration, tech and education

More than half of the country’s governors have delivered their state of the state addresses. Last week’s addresses tended to relate to the national election and the incoming administration, with some governors heralding the change and others pledging to try to reach a bipartisan understanding while standing firm on issues they believe in, like climate change in California. Although TBED issues may not have been at the forefront of the addresses, science, technology and especially innovation and higher education continue to receive attention. This week we zero in on comments delivered by governors in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana and Utah.

Universities Seek External Funds for Big Data R&D Centers

The big data technology and services market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.1 percent over the 2014-2019 forecast period, with annual spending projected to reach$48.6 billion in 2019, according to a 2015 study from IDC – a market research firm. Hoping to leverage this exponential growth into research and economic development opportunity, several universities are fund raising to establish new big data R&D Centers in the communities they serve.

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