SSTI Digest

Geography: Oklahoma

TBED People and Orgs

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

State Strategic Plans Focus on Supporting S&T in Key Sectors

In an era of tightening fiscal constraints, states have to make tough decisions, establish clear economic development funding priorities and transform their economic development models to take advantage of immediate opportunities and position their state for long-term economic growth. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Washington have released state-specific strategic plans that make those tough decisions by focusing their resources on key science & technology (S&T) areas to address the economic impacts of the Great Recession and position the state for future prosperity. Each strategic plan also calls for state government to engage the private sector to build partnerships that will help reduce costs and increase impacts.

$20M Awarded to 10 Public-Private Regional Partnerships Geared towards Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives

The Obama administration announced winners of the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge on Tuesday. The challenge — publicized earlier this year — is one of the key initiatives of the interagency Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters and is sponsored by a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Departments of Energy and Labor, and the Small Business Administration. Winners include programs in AZ, CA, MI, OK, TN, NY, PA, and a WA and OR bi-state partnership, each receiving approximately $2 million in grants. See the complete list of challenge winners and their reward amounts here. This is the third in a series of multiagency Jobs and Innovation Accelerator challenges administered since 2011. Learn more...

OK EDGE Program Eliminated, Funding Slated for Endowed Chairs

A program envisioned nine years ago as a $1 billion endowment that would transform Oklahoma into the research capital of the Great Plains was eliminated last week by the legislature. The Economic Development Generating Excellence Fund, or EDGE Fund, which provided grants to high-tech companies, was unable to secure a long-term financial commitment from the state following an initial appropriation of $150 million in 2006. The balance of the fund, about $161 million, will be transferred to Oklahoma universities for the endowed chairs program to fund academic positions and research.

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 V

The fifth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs' series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. The first four installments are available in the Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan. 25, and Feb. 1 editions of the Digest. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, State of the State Address, Feb. 7, 2012 "And today I want to tell you about the best technology resource that you've never heard of. It's buried underground in Ohio. This will set us apart from every other state in America. "It's beyond high speed Internet. And I'm announcing today we're going to increase the speed of OARnet, from 10 gigabytes per second to 100 gigabytes per second and what does that mean? It's not Back to the Future with gigabytes. I mean, this really means something. ... This allows our research hospitals and universities to compete more successfully for the research grants that create breakthroughs in jobs. ... "We're also saying that it's not good enough to do research. If you don't commercialize and create jobs, what's the point? I can find you research on a top shelf in a building 140 years from now. Commercialize. Create jobs. Spinoff companies. "We can get that done, but it's going to take new and renewed focus and so, you know, whether it's graduation, whether it is working together on this issue of, of the fixing of their buildings, whether it is targeting people, getting the universities to target people for jobs that exist, if we create a university system, it would unbelievable. It would be absolutely unbelievable and we are on the verge of being able to do it." Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, State of the State Address, Feb. 6, 2012 "And on the subject of tax credits, I know a lot has been said. Representative Dank and Senator Mazzei are conducting a study to investigate which credits are effective and create jobs, and which do not. I'm looking forward to the results of that study, and our course of action will be simple: only tax credits that create jobs will stay. For instance, my budget begins the process of restoring the Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit, which brings good, high tech jobs to Oklahoma." Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Executive Budget Address, Feb. 7, 2012 "Pennsylvania competes with every other state in the union for factories, offices and corporate headquarters. The shorter we make the journey from the drawing board to the ribbon-cutting, the better our chances of growing jobs. "So, I am bringing before you a new and innovative program to create a robust employment market and a vital economy. We call it Jobs First PA. It comprises four programs: Pennsylvania Inc., The Comprehensive Job Matching System, Keystone Works, and The Targeted Industry Certificate Program. ... "Briefly, Pennsylvania Inc. provides a single point of access between job creators and state government to speed the time between an idea and a business. Keystone Works would allow unemployed workers to continue their benefits while being trained by companies with available jobs. ... The Targeted Industry Certificate program provides increased grants for college and trade school students who are training for high-demand occupations. ... "... At the Department of Community and Economic Development, we are at work finalizing a program I proposed last year, the Liberty Financing Authority. It will merge several programs under a single umbrella. The Liberty Financing Authority will provide the flexibility to direct loans to expanding businesses."

TBED People

Steve Biggers, deputy director, Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology has retired after 31 years of service to the state. He has served at OCAST for the last 19 years.

Oklahoma Gov Fallin Signs Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the Oklahoma Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit — reestablishing a tax incentive that was put on moratorium during last year's legislative session. The legislation extends tax credits of $5,000 a year for up to five years to engineers who are hired in Oklahoma. Under the law, companies receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the compensation paid to an engineering graduate from an Oklahoma institution of higher education. If the individual did not graduate from an Oklahoma institution of higher education, the company receives a five percent tax credit. The law also grants a tax credit of up to 50% of the tuition reimbursed to a new engineer graduate for the first four years of employment. Oklahoma's aerospace industry is a $12 billion a year industry that employs over 145,000 people. Read the press release...

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 V

The fifth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. The first four installments are available in the Jan. 5, Jan. 12, Jan. 19 and Jan. 26 issues of the Digest.

TBED People

SSTI Board member Phillip Singerman has been named as the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He will assume this position on January 31.

Four Organizations Achieving Impressive Economic Results Win National Award, Serving As Models Of Best Practice For States And Regions

Four organizations were named winners of SSTI's 2010 Excellence in TBED Award, serving as national models for states and regions investing in science, technology and innovation to grow and sustain their economies and create high-paying jobs.