SSTI Digest

Geography: Missouri

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part II

The second installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, and New Mexico. Our first installment was in the Jan. 11 Digest. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2012 "I also thank you for working with me to create a merit scholarship that gives all Alaska's children an incentive to complete a more rigorous high school curriculum. ... "... In its first year, this scholarship has been a remarkable success. Now we must secure it for future years. This legislative session, let us take the $400 million that we set aside last year, and build a strong fence of moral obligation around it. Let us create a fund for that money so the fund's earnings can pay for these scholarships for future generations." Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, State of the State Address, Jan. 12, 2012 "We established the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) to foster collaboration and idea-sharing across private sector, academic and public lines, including the 29 research laboratories in Colorado. ... "... COIN gives us a unique opportunity to incubate entrepreneurship and facilitate the transfer of new ideas to the marketplace. ... "... While COIN is privately funded, we are asking for a modest public investment to continue the success we had with Arrow and GE." Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, State of the State Address, Jan. 17, 2012 "As part of our Missouri Works strategy, the budget I present tonight continues our record investment in worker training for a second year, especially in high-tech areas so critical to modern manufacturing. ... "... The next pillar of Missouri Works is to accelerate investment in high-growth industries like science and technology. ... "... With the passage last year of the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, we are poised for rapid progress. "As part of Missouri Works, my budget includes $4 million in seed capital to invest in attracting the very best science talent to Missouri." New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, State of the State Address, Jan. 17, 2012 "We need to invest in a culture of entrepreneurship so more of these family businesses can make it — so they can grow and hire more New Mexicans. "I'm also proposing a tax credit for high-tech research and development to attract more high-paying jobs to the state."

TBED People

The Idaho Department of Commerce has named Gynii Gilliam as its new chief economic development officer. Gilliam brings more than 20 years of experience to the position. Most recently, she served as executive director of Bannock Development Corporation.

Three Groups Invest $30M to Launch St. Louis Bioscience Organization

Building on a decade of work by the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences, BioSTL launched last month to provide funding and support for emerging bioscience companies. The group also will dedicate resources such as training and recruiting entrepreneurs and increasing venture capital investment to collectively benefit partner organizations working to increase bioscience activity in the region. Washington University in St. Louis, BJC HealthCare, and the St. Louis Life Sciences Project each committed $2 million per year for five years, totaling $30 million to launch the effort. A majority of the funds will be dedicated to pre-seed and seed investments to support new company formation.

Missouri S&T Bill Enacted; Future Uncertain

Gov. Jay Nixon last week signed into law the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) nearly two years after first proposing the initiative (see the Jan. 6, 2010 issue of the Digest). MOSIRA creates a funding source to grow research and technology companies by capturing a percentage of the growth in state revenue over a base year (fiscal year 2010) from a designated group of science and innovation companies. The Missouri Technology Corporation will administer the funds, reinvesting them through loans and other means in programs designed to create jobs, nurture startups and bring science and technology companies to the state, according to the governor's office. Implementing the bill may prove to be a challenging task, however. The bill, SB7, contains a clause that makes it contingent on the passage of a larger economic development incentives bill, which failed to pass in the legislature. The ultimate decision may come from the courts who could decide whether or not to void the contingency wording, reports The Kansas City Star. The governor's signature on the bill allows the state to initiate steps toward implementing the measures.

Grant Fund for Biotech Companies on Wisconsin's Legislative Agenda

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the latest governor to call a special session focused on economic development proposals he says will create jobs (see the Sept. 7, 2011 issue of the Digest). Gov. Walker issued the executive order last week, calling it a "Back to Work Wisconsin" special session.

TBED-Focused Bills Capturing Attention in Several States

Proposals that promise job creation and economic growth have taken center stage in several state legislatures. Lawmakers who recognize the importance of R&D, tech commercialization, access to risk capital, and investment in higher education are fighting for passage of TBED-focused bills in the final months of their states' 2011 legislative sessions. A bill to revive the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, which failed in the legislature last year, recently passed the House with broad, bi-partisan support, restoring hope for the program that aims to grow science and technology companies. Meanwhile, two bills in Connecticut seek to boost technology transfer and lawmakers in Alaska and Florida are pushing for statewide R&D tax credits. An overview of select bills relating to TBED is included below.

Missouri Gov Launches Five-Year Cluster Plan

Governor Jay Nixon has released the final report from a year-long effort to design a five-year economic strategy for Missouri. The report identifies seven target clusters for development, including advanced manufacturing, energy solutions, biosciences, health sciences and services, information technology, financial and professional services, and transportation and logistics. Recommendations include a new science and technology/innovation fund, an R&D tax credit, an angel investment tax credit and cluster-based career training. Read the plan...

TBED People and Job Opportunities: People and Organizations

Alabama then-Governor-elect Robert Bentley on January 3 named former House Speaker Seth Hammett as director of the Alabama Development Office, replacing Interim Director Linda Swann. He also appointed the president of the Birmingham-based Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Bill Taylor, to lead efforts to grow and retain existing Alabama industries, while at the same time recruiting new businesses to the state.

Tech Talkin' Govs, Part IV

The fourth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and Vermont. The first three installments are available in the Jan. 5, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 issues of the Digest.

Pair of Reports Delivered to Missouri Gov Outline Strategies for Economic Growth

Two economic development reports, one outlining strategic initiatives to transform the state's economy and the other making recommendations for reforming the state's tax programs, were delivered last week to Gov. Jay Nixon. The governor's Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth, launched in May, submitted initial job-creation proposals focused in the areas of advanced manufacturing, energy solutions, bioscience, health science and service, information technology, financial and professional services and transportation and logistics. Meanwhile, a 27-member commission established by the governor to review the state's tax incentive programs suggested eliminating 28 tax credit programs, including the film tax credit, which they say should be replaced with a new angel tax credit program to address the financial gap serving as an obstacle to growing new businesses.

New Kauffman Foundation Competition Encourages Female Scientists and Engineers to pursue Entrepreneurial Ventures

The Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation announced its first Women in Science and Engineering Business Idea Competition to encourage female scientists and engineers to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. The competition's goal is totap into the "growing pool of highly educated women who have the potential to start scalable science and engineering-related ventures". Competition winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to TED 2011, where they will be afforded an opportunity to present their idea in front of the "world's most fascinating thinkers and doers." The competition is hosted by Kauffman Labs and sponsored by Kauffman FastTrac and Astia. Entries are due Jan 15, 2011 and winners will be announced in early February. Read the press release ...

Missouri Group Working on Plan to Transform State's Economy

With input from industry leaders in life sciences and tech-based organizations, a group convened by Gov. Jay Nixon is tasked with identifying a vision and mission to transform the state's economy within five years targeting high-growth industries. By the end of the year, the group hopes to identify six to eight key initiatives most likely to impact the economy. Tech-based components will be critical to the plan, with details forthcoming.