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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.


US bioscience industry at record strength

The U.S. bioscience industry is helping to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic through two, key characteristics: its innovative capacity to address global challenges, and its role as a consistent economic stalwart, with a track record of generating high-quality jobs and growth that has acted as a key buffer during prior economic recessions.

Students design bio-inspired ideas to provide climate crisis solutions

Despite a school year disrupted by the pandemic, teams of students from across the nation submitted a host of ideas in the latest Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge (YDC). The YDC brings the process of nature-inspired design into the classroom of middle and high school students, who collaborate in teams to solve sustainability problems using nature as a guide.

US universities work towards UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings has measured 768 universities around the world against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Combining research and activity metrics, the 2020 rankings place institutions from New Zealand and Australia in the top four spots, with U.S. universities holding 14 places within the top 200.

National Science Board announces vision for securing US leadership in science and engineering for the next decade

The U.S. has long been the global leader in science and engineering (S&E), but that position is being increasingly challenged with China likely surpassing the U.S. in total Research and Development (R&D) investment in 2019. Accounting for this changing landscape, the National Science Board (NSB) recently released its Vision 2030 report. It identifies the primary challenges facing the S&E enterprise in the United States, the essential elements of leadership, and a roadmap for implementing these recommendations and maintaining U.S. leadership in S&E for the next decade.

State budget recovery likely years away, SSTI analysis shows

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that the U.S. economy through 2030 will have $8 trillion (as measured in 2019 dollars) less in economic activity than the CBO projected just five months ago.  Combined with SSTI’s recent examination of economic recovery that found it took 20 states at least four years for their economy to recover back to Great Recession levels, the impact on state budgets can be expected to be long lasting. In fact, a new examination by SSTI finds that through FY 2018, 15 states’ general revenue funds had not recovered to FY 2008 levels (as measured in 2018 dollars) based on data collected by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). For an additional 16 states, it took seven to 10 years to reach FY 2008 levels.

Small businesses reeling; 10 to 50 percent may go out of business

A trio of recent reports reflect the pernicious effects the pandemic is having on small businesses. Last month, a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 52 percent of small businesses expected to be out of business within six months. SHRM President and CEO Johnny C.

Congress passes changes to PPP

The House and Senate have both passed a bill that would alter the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses will now have up to 24 weeks to use forgivable funds, instead of the original eight weeks. The portion of the costs that must be spent on payroll has been reduced from 75 percent to 60 percent. The bill also changes many of the original legislation’s hard deadlines from the end of June to Dec. 31.

Higher education enrollment further threatened by pandemic, proclamation

The pandemic’s negative impact on enrollment at institutions of higher education is getting even more complicated. New figures show that the number of students that have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a figure that serves as an indicator for postsecondary enrollment, has decreased.

Updated SBIR/STTR website more organized and accessible

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently rolled out a new website for the SBIR/STTR program which SBA administers. Reorganized and including new landing pages for entrepreneurs, support organizations, and federal agencies, the new page provides quicker and easier access to the right information.

SSTI hosting EDA to discuss CARES funding – including forthcoming innovation opportunity

Join us for a special SSTI webinar on June 9th, when U.S. Economic Development Administration representatives will share information regarding $1.5 billion in economic development grants available for coronavirus response and recovery efforts at the local, state and regional levels. The EDA team also will discuss the pending innovation and entrepreneurship challenge component of the funding. Join us to learn more about qualifying for grants, which types of project support/assistance will be funded, how to apply, and more. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the presentation.

Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute to help secure America’s manufacturing sector

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) will be led by the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). CyManII will lead a national consortium with partners from industry, universities, and three DOE National Laboratories (Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Sandia). Its focus: to make U.S.

NIST appoints new associate director for innovation and industry services

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) named Mojdeh Bahar as the new associate director for innovation and industry services (ADIIS).

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