SSTI Digest

Geography: Ohio

TBED People and Orgs

Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration since 2009, has announced her departure. She will stay on until her successor is confirmed.

More Funding for Higher Ed Sought in FL, OH, PA and TX Tied to Performance

Upbeat revenue forecasts and shared economic principles have Republican governors in four states requesting more funds for higher education tied to performance metrics or workforce outcomes. Recent budget proposals introduced in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas focus on competing for talent and jobs through efforts to encourage STEM learning and teaching and incentivizing outcomes such as graduating more students in high-demand fields, conducting research and more. College affordability is addressed through measures that would freeze tuition or cap increases.

To Spur Regional Economic Growth, Community Colleges Look Beyond National Graduation Goals

In July 2009, President Obama challenged community colleges to graduate an additional five million students by 2020. According to the president's speech, community colleges uniquely are positioned to fuel the future of U.S. competiveness by developing an educated, skilled workforce to address the needs of a 21st century workplace. However, community colleges across the country are going beyond the president's challenge and establishing new initiatives to help support regional innovation ecosystems focused on encouraging entrepreneurship and nurturing tech-based startups.

TBED People & Orgs

SSTI is pleased to welcome Reese Neader to our team as a research associate. Reese is the former policy director for the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and is a political science graduate from Denison University.

OH, PA, WV Collaboration to Host Pilot Manufacturing Innovation Institute

On Thursday, the Obama administration announced it had selected the TechBelt region, encompassing northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, to host the pilot institute of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) will operate as a partnership of more than 60 companies, research universities, community colleges and nonprofit organizations from the region. As the pilot effort of NNMI, the partnership will receive $30 million in initial federal funding, with another $40 million from regional partners. The institute will be housed at Youngstown Business Incubator in Youngstown, OH.

TBED People & Orgs

Caren Franzini, the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, stepped down after leading the agency for 21 years. Michele Brown, Gov. Chris Christie's appointments counsel, will take over as CEO.

Report Proposes New Statewide Commercialization Effort for Ohio

A new report from the Ohio Board of Regents proposes a statewide commercialization ecosystem to create jobs, promote economic growth and increase wealth in the state. According to the report, recent research suggesting that, when compared to other states, Ohio lags behind in the commercialization of technology. In The Condition of Higher Education in Ohio: Advancing Ohio's Innovation Economy, there are several recommendations to improve the state's technology transfer pipeline to turn academic research into market-ready products and services including:

Community College Entrepreneurship Initiative to Go Nationwide

Northeast Ohio's Lorain County Community College (LCCC) plans to bring its unique approach to entrepreneur assistance to other parts of the country with support from the Kauffman Foundation. On Thursday, LCCC announced a $1 million grant from Kauffman would help establish pilot versions of the community college's Innovation Fund in three U.S. communities. The current Innovation Fund provides entrepreneurship education, mentoring and early stage funding for the region's startups. The nationwide effort, dubbed Innovation Fund America, will select its three new communities in the next few months. Read the press release...

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.

Higher Ed Funding Proposals Fizzle in FL, OH

Proposals introduced in Florida and Ohio would have changed the funding model for universities that meet certain benchmarks to elevate their standing for research and innovation. Both proposals ultimately were rejected, however. In Ohio, the state's plan for enterprise universities is on hold, and in Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently vetoed a bill to establish preeminent universities.

Ohio State, Ohio University Establish $35 Million Venture Capital Fund

The Ohio State University and Ohio University announced a new $35 million venture capital fund to address the lack of critical, early stage funding for innovative technology ventures in the state. Ohio State will contribute $20 million and Ohio University will provide the remaining $15 million. The universities also committed to leveraging their resources and assets to support entrepreneurial activity and venture creation in Ohio. Read the press release...

National Broadband Adoption Stagnant, TechNet Finds

A new report from TechNet finds that on the two-year anniversary of the National Broadband Plan aimed at getting more Americans to use broadband at home, the adoption rate remains about the same. The study identifies several reasons behind the plateau and calls for better coordination among policymakers and private stakeholders to improve adoption rates. Meanwhile, some states have big plans in the works to improve their broadband networks, including governors in Hawaii and New York pushing for funding to expand Internet access to underserved areas. Ohio's governor is taking a different approach in hopes of attracting new employers and cutting-edge researchers with a $10 million state-led initiative boasting broadband speeds that officials say would far exceed the rest of the nation. The TechNet report finds the number of Americans with broadband at home has remained around 65 percent since 2009 when the National Broadband Plan was implemented under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). At the same time, smartphone adoption and apps usage has grown significantly. However, this is not because smartphone users are swapping broadband service at home with smartphone usage; rather, connected individuals are increasing their access while others are left behind. A society more "digitally excluded," the authors contend, contributes to a smaller domestic market for tech goods and services and a less innovative economy. Coordination and assessment is seen as key to pushing past the plateau. A clearinghouse for best practices that assembles program information would help local authorities better understand broadband opportunities and help states understand what other states are doing, the report finds. This week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) called for better assessment of broadband adoption programs funded by the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) by asking the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study, reports The Washington Post. The senator also sent inquiries to major broadband providers asking what programs they have in place to promote adoption and digital literacy. Read the report at: Hawaii, New York Pushing Efforts to Expand Broadband Coverage With the launch of the Hawaii Broadband Initiative last year, Gov. Neil Abercrombie set a goal of providing affordable, high-speed Internet for individuals and businesses across the state by 2018. In an executive memorandum, the governor said Hawaii would use $33.6 million in ARRA funds to become the first state in the nation with direct 1 gigabit per second broadband connectivity at every public school, library and college campus. Under the plan, the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism will create financial incentives to attract investment from providers and forge public-private partnerships offering greater access to broadband services, according to the governor's office. In December, a Pacific Business News article reported that the financial incentives to attract investors and build partnerships likely would move ahead in the 2012 legislative session. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is working with legislators to earmark $25 million from the $75 million New York Works Economic Development Fund to expand broadband Internet access to rural upstate and underserved urban areas, reports the Associated Press. The legislature would have to approve the job creating fund as well as a law allowing partnerships with private companies to implement high-speed broadband coverage, according to the article. The funding is part of the governor's FY13 proposed budget. Ohio Boosting Broadband Speed to Draw Researchers, Businesses A state-led initiative in Ohio will offer private sector businesses the opportunity to access a 100 gigabit network and state-of-the art innovation center for testing and developing new products. Gov. John Kasich announced in February Ohio's $8.1 million state investment to increase the speed of its broadband network from 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps. Another $2.3 million will help create an innovation center that would enable and test 100 Gbps technologies and promote the development of broadband, software and advanced technology applications. The network will connect Ohio's major metropolitan areas to northern and southern connection points of Internet2, a nationwide advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. Private sector businesses would have access to the network as a partner with JobsOhio. Read more: