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: North Carolina

NC Wins Latest Manufacturing Innovation Institute Focused on Electronics

The first of three new manufacturing innovation institutes will be headquartered in Raleigh, NC, and led by a consortium of 18 companies, seven universities and labs, and the state of North Carolina. The announcement was made today by President Obama. Developing wide-bandgap semiconductor devices and industry-relevant processes is the goal of the Next Generation Power Electronics Institute. Such technologies are used to develop smaller, faster, cheaper and more efficient electronics for personal devices, electric vehicles and renewable power interconnection, according to a press release. The selection process is still underway for two other institutes, with awards expected in the coming weeks.

Innovation Performance Index Produces Mixed Results for North Carolina

North Carolina is rich in resources to support a thriving innovation ecosystem. But despite its strengths, several factors are preventing the state from reaching its full potential to fuel and sustain strong economic growth. These and other findings are outlined in a recent report tracking the state's performance in 38 measures related to innovation assets, activities and trends. The fourth in a series of indexes produced over the past 13 years, the report benchmarks North Carolina with six key comparison states, the U.S. overall and leading countries.

Funding for TBED Trimmed in NC Budget

Lawmakers continued to provide support for life sciences at a reduced level in the recently enacted budget; however, other technology areas did not fare as well. In some cases, funding was eliminated for tech-based initiatives, and lawmakers allowed a tax credit for early stage investors to expire. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center plans to consolidate activities and redouble efforts to keep things moving in the wake of a 27 percent reduction to their budget.

SSTI Examines Trends in Innovation Policy from the State Legislatures

As many state legislative sessions wind down, a clearer picture of the current direction of state innovation policies is emerging. This week’s SSTI Weekly Digest presents a few of the major trends in technology-based economic development initiatives approved by state legislatures during their most recent sessions. While this review is not meant to be comprehensive, it should illuminate the shifts states are making to refine their investments in the high-tech economy by providing smarter, more targeted support.

CA, NC Govs Propose Bold Reforms to State Economic Development Efforts

Avoiding redundancy and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of outdated programs are some of the major goals for governors in California and North Carolina seeking a new approach to job creation. Both proposals involve an overhaul to established economic development efforts.

KS, GA, NC and WA look to Increase Small Business Capital Using Securities Exemptions

Since 2011, three states (Kansas, Georgia and North Carolina) have enacted securities exemptions that allow their state's entrepreneurs and small businesses to raise up to $1 million dollars via the sale of securities to residents of the state — Washington lawmakers introduced similar legislation

Persistent Skills Gap Hindering Economic Recovery in Cities; Promising Models Found in Norfolk, VA, Charlotte, NC

Amid a national economic recovery, city officials report a recent and persistent skills gap that may signal structural challenges and present serious barriers to sustained growth for metros. Nearly nine in 10 city officials (88 percent) note that workforce alignment has not improved over the past year, according to a recent survey on city fiscal conditions from the National League of Cities (NLC).

Tech Talkin' Govs: Part VI

The sixth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in New Hampshire and North Carolina. Our first five installments were in the Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Jan. 30 and Feb.

Report Examines North Carolina's Biotechnology Industry

Commissioned by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a study found North Carolina's biotech industry employees almost 58,000 residents at an average annual wage of $78,000. From 2001 to 2010, employment in the state's biotech industry grew by 23.5 percent (approximately 12,000 new jobs) — 3.5 times faster than the national biotech workforce. In comparison, North Carolina's private-sector workforce declined by 2.8 percent in the same period.

North Carolina Moving to Tie Higher Ed Closer to the Job Market

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is pushing for state funding of higher education to be based on the success that community colleges and universities have at placing their students in the job market. “I don't want to subsidize (a course) if that's not going to get someone a job ... it's the tech jobs we need right now,” stated McCrory on the nationally syndicated “Morning In America” radio broadcast.

Tech Agenda, Billion Dollar Green Bank Top NY Gov's Economic Growth Plan

Innovation was a key term used in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address and is referenced heavily throughout his economic development agenda for the upcoming year. The governor proposed creating innovation hot spots, an innovation network and innovation venture capital fund. Efforts would be focused on accelerating technology transfer and providing funds to attract startup companies. Cleantech investments and support for competitive university-based projects that emphasize economic impact also are a priority for the governor.

TBED People and Orgs

Former Oklahoma Treasurer Scott Meacham has been named president and CEO of i2E.

LaunchTN announced Charlie Brock as the organization's new president and chief executive officer and Stuart McWhorter as the organization's new vice-chair.