SSTI Digest

Geography: Mississippi

TBED People & Orgs

Tom Walker is departing i2E to join TechColumbus as CEO. Walker, a founding member of i2E, has served the private nonprofit for 14 years. Walker replaces Tim Haynes, who has been serving as interim CEO.

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part III

The third installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs' series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Utah. The first and second installments are available in the Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 editions of the Digest. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2012 "Following up on the recent "Imagine Delaware' forum sponsored by the News Journal, we are finding new ways to support entrepreneurs. Over the last months, we studied best practices at entrepreneurial support centers around the country... Working with Representatives Lavelle and Bryon Short and groups like First State Innovation, we will apply what we have learned to further support emerging start-ups and growing companies in Delaware." Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, State of the State Address, Jan. 23, 2012 "Not only is it important to emphasize brick and mortar, we must also build an infrastructure for technology to meet the demands of the 21st century. This is the intellectual and social infrastructure that we must have to provide opportunities and experience for our people to become an advanced workforce that can compete in the global marketplace. "We will move forward on our Hawai'i Broadband Initiative by requesting $2.9 million to enhance online services for, advance research for transpacific fiber landing stations statewide, and initiate a 'one-to-one' laptop program for Hawai'i's public schools, to provide laptops for every student." Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, State of the Commonwealth Address, Jan. 23, 2012 "... We need a unified community college system in Massachusetts. In a unified system, students would find courses specifically tailored to meet local workforce needs alongside a core curriculum that emphasizes STEM subjects and with credits that are easily transferable to another community college or a four-year college. ... "... To support this mission, I will propose in my budget to streamline the funding and governance of community colleges, and to increase overall funding by $10 million. I challenge the business community to match that new funding with an additional $10 million. I also propose to channel more state workforce training dollars through the community colleges. With this sharper focus, simpler structure, increased funding and greater accountability, community colleges can help us better prepare people for the middle skills jobs of today and tomorrow." Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, State of the State Address, Jan. 25, 2012 "Also, I am transmitting to the legislature the Energy Sustainability and Development Act of 2012. This will create incentives for manufacturing and industrial employers to make energy efficiency upgrades that result in significant savings, allowing them to be more competitive, retain or hire more workers, and further invest in their operations. It will create the Biomass Center for Excellence, which will be a partnership of the public, private, and education sectors to coordinate and promote biomass research, development, and manufacturing." Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, State of the State Address, Jan. 25, 2012 "... [W]e must also innovate safer and cleaner ways to extract natural resources and utilize energy. As Governor, I am calling on the private sector and our major universities to lead out! Our goal is to create an 'energy research triangle' that launches Utah into a new era of energy technology innovation!"

States Outline Competitiveness Goals Ahead of 2012 Sessions

With less than three months until the start of the 2012 legislative session for many states, governors and state economic development groups are working to define areas of investment seen as key to their state's competitiveness. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a job creation and growth agenda that prioritizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to produce more graduates for a competitive workforce. Meanwhile, leaders in Mississippi and Virginia issued reports that identify industry sectors most likely to grow their states' economies.

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.

Budgets Unveiled in Southern and Western States Maintain, Invest in TBED

Governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Wyoming recently unveiled spending plans for the upcoming year or biennium. Funding for many tech-based investments would be maintained or increased under the governors' proposals. New proposals range from additional funds for energy research at the University of Wyoming to new funding mechanisms for colleges and universities in Mississippi. Funding for S&T efforts in Arkansas would remain level.

Research Parks RoundUp

Often credited with contributing significant revenue to states' economies, research parks also house facilities for workforce training and provide resources for tech-based industries, which is especially important as the nation's employment begins to pick up steam. In West Virginia, officials are building a $15 million advanced technology-training center at the state-owned research and technology park, and in Utah, officials recently broke ground on a building that will house engineers and analysts working on the nation's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program.

SBA Selects 10 Regional Efforts for Cluster

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the selection of 10 regional economic development and job creation efforts through a new pilot program, Innovative Economies, that supports small business participation in regional economic clusters. SBA's funding is designed to expand the opportunities and the role small businesses play in these regional collaborations. The awardees were selected from among 173 applicants. Awards went to organizations in: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. Read the full release

MS Special Session Produces Incentives for Biofuels Development

Lawmakers called into special session on Friday approved a $75 million incentive package for a Texas-based energy company to build five biofuel facilities in the state expected to generate 1,000 new jobs through a total $500 million investment. The package approved by lawmakers also includes $4 million for a workforce training fund through the state's institutions of higher education and up to $2 million for biomass research at Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University.

TBED People

Subra Suresh, dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next director of the National Science Foundation.

TBED People

Bryan Allinson has joined Ohio University as director of technology transfer.

TBED People

TBED People

TBED People
Eric Abelquist has been named executive vice president of Oak Ridge Associated Universities and deputy director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.