SSTI Digest

Geography: Pennsylvania

PA's Economic Efforts Should Focus on Building Businesses Not Poaching Them, Report Finds

Pennsylvania’s economic development strategy should focus on building businesses rather than poaching, according to a new report from the Keystone Research Center (KRC) – All Pennsylvanians Prospering Together (APP): A Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy for the Long Term. KRC’s Executive Director Stephen Herzenberg contends, “Pennsylvania needs to renew its historic bipartisan commitment to economic development,” and “create a national model of an economic development strategy in which all the people contribute to a joint effort to expand the economic pie and benefit from the growth of that pie.” In the report, KRC identifies four core principles to guide the state’s efforts:

Innovative Economic Development a Priority in PA, NC Budget Proposals

Several governors released their proposed budgets over the last two weeks, and while some states continue to deal with budget shortfalls that prevent many new initiatives from coming into fruition, governors in Pennsylvania and North Carolina included numerous proposals focused on innovation and economic development. Additionally, governors in Louisiana and Massachusetts highlighted new workforce development proposals. 

Tech Talkin' Govs: Tax Reform, Higher Ed Featured in Governors' State of the State Addresses

SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series has returned as governors across the country formally convene 2015 legislative sessions. The series highlights new and expanded TBED proposals from governors' State of the State, Budget and Inaugural addresses.

Pennsylvania’s Largest Universities Make Investments in Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Pennsylvania’s largest universities by student population, Penn State and Temple University, both announced plans this week to make a concerted investment in their respective innovation ecosystems. Pennsylvania State University (PSU) President Eric Barron announced $30 million in new investments for economic development and student career students, while Temple University and Ben Franklin Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania established a new startup accelerator to assist university ventures.

Universities, Public-Private Partners Launch Commercialization Funds in IN, LA, PA, WA

Purdue University, the University City Science Center, and Washington State University announced the creation of new investment funds to support the growth of university-affiliated startups in their respective communities. These three recently announced commercialization funds all share a common trend – they will be managed or assisted in the management process via public-private partnerships. In Baton Rouge, LA, the Research Park Corporation also announced the creation of a fund to assist Louisiana State University researchers compete for commercialization funding from the university.

VC Funding Declines in Q3 2014, Reports Examine VC Trends in OH, OR, PA

In Q3 2014, venture capital (VC) investments in the U.S. dropped by 30 percent from Q2 totals, according a new report from CB Insights. Q3 VC deal levels also dropped by 10 percent from Q2 totals. The severe drop, however, can be attributed to Q2 being the most successful VC quarter since Q1 2001. The good news is that the first three quarters of 2014 saw the U.S. VC investment total reach $33.75 billion – an increase of 59 percent compared to the first nine months of last year.

“Recoupling” Manufacturing and Innovation

Between 2000 and 2010, about one-third of U.S. manufacturing employment – approximately five million jobs – were lost as a result of new technologies in the manufacturing process or competition from abroad, according to The Brookings Institution. The decoupling of innovation from manufacturing,” as described by Harvard Professor Venky Narayanamurti, where “Americans brought great ideas to light, but then left the execution – manufacturing, and jobs – to others” has left the United States in a job crunch throughout the supply chain. In recent years, however, U.S. companies are increasingly moving their manufacturing stateside.

Detroit, Pittsburgh Boast Tech Economy Gains

Groups in the greater Detroit and Pittsburgh regions recently released reports documenting the progress these metros have made over the past few years in building thriving technology economies. Detroit’s Automation Alley found that tech industry employment in the region grew by 15 percent in 2011, outpacing growth in all of the other 14 regions used as benchmarks in the study. A report on Pittsburgh’s investment economy, conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and Innovation Works, shows the region to have grown its per capita venture capital investment levels by 34.6 percent during the 2009-2013 period.

PA, WI, NY, CA Universities Launch Initiatives to Fuel Entrepreneurial Economy

In an effort to help spur economic prosperity, several universities have unveiled new initiatives to connect potential entrepreneurs with university resources and help integrate the entrepreneurs into their region’s innovation ecosystem. In partnership with other organizations, these programs are intended to position each respective university as a driver of regional economic development through the provision of education, training initiatives and other support services. The initiatives include new programs at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, Carroll University in Wisconsin and New York University (NYU).  The Blackstone Charitable Foundation also announced it will expand LaunchPad, a university-led entrepreneurship program, to a partnership that includes three universities in Southern California.

People On The Move

John Sider has accepted a position with Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes and the PA Senate Democratic Caucus to work on economic development policy and projects, effective April 1. Currently, Sider is the managing director of statewide initiatives at Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

People on the Move & TBED Organization Updates

Patrick Gallagher has been named the 18th chancellor and chief executive officer of the University of Pittsburgh. Gallagher currently serves as acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Economic Development Leader Rich Lunak Joins SSTI Board

Rich Luank, President & CEO of Innovation Works, recently was elected to the State Science and Technology (SSTI) Board of Trustees. Lunak will assist in providing strategic guidance and oversight of SSTI’s operations as the group works to encourage economic growth through science, technology and innovation.