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EDA makes $2 million available for STEM talent

The Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) released a funding opportunity this morning for a new STEM Talent Challenge. The opportunity provides $2 million in total to governmental and nonprofit entities working to implement STEM apprenticeship models in their regions.

Where are the women? An examination of women's participation in the SBIR/STTR program

A recent report by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) found that participation rates in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs by women-owned small businesses (WOSB) has essentially remained flat since 2011. Although participation rates vary by awarding agency, the report highlights several barriers faced by women entrepreneurs. Despite the gloomy findings, the report features promising practices from entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that may “right the ship” in supporting women entrepreneurs through the SBIR/STTR program.

McKinsey’s analysis of value chain disruptions reveals vulnerability, opportunity

Crystal ball forecasts and predictions are growing about the long term impact of the pandemic on U.S. manufacturing, trade and overall global supply chains. The abruptness of the shutdowns within so many countries’ economies, the resulting scarcities of goods, and millions of furloughs and pink slips has generated cause for economic analysts, policy wonks and consumers to study the effect of disruption on global value chains.

AAAS says now is time to act to enhance Public Face of Science

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is calling on all organizations with an interest in the public face of science to “use the resources at their disposal to support effective science communication and engagement” as part of its third and final installment in a series of reports from an initiative that began in 2016. The Public Face of Science Initiative set out to address the complex and evolving relationship between science and society.

NGA releases infrastructure initiative report two months early

The product of a year-long initiative focused on addressing America’s crumbling infrastructure has been released two months early in an effort to help speed the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, called Infrastructure: Foundation for Success, identifies four key federal priorities that should be addressed if America is to rebuild its infrastructure.

Value of certificates showing mixed results

Completing a subbaccalaureate program can translate into higher pay and greater employment outcomes compared to those who have no education beyond a high school diploma, but the median salary of those who completed a certificate versus those who did not was the same ($20,000) among students who were no longer enrolled after three years. The results are detailed in a recent brief from the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.

What Biden proposes for science and innovation

The Democratic Party officially nominated Joe Biden as their candidate for president this week. Despite just taking this first step into the general election, the former vice president has already announced numerous policy proposals. Using statements from the campaign website as a resource, the following is an overview of his science and innovation proposals.

$2.5 million accelerator fund to invest in community colleges

A new Community College Growth Engine Fund is being launched by Education Design Lab to help mitigate the growing skills gap and strengthen community colleges as drivers of innovation between education and employment. Education Design Lab is a national nonprofit that designs, implements and scales new learning models for higher education and the future of work.

Makerspaces highlight local efforts in manufacturing response to COVID

The innovation community has been on the front lines in responding to the current pandemic, and one area that has stepped up is the community makerspace. A new report from the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) highlights several of those efforts. As UMA points out, COVID-19 brought a renewed need for manufacturing capabilities, and makerspaces stepped into new roles.

Consolidation of local governments could provide new economic development outlets

Improved prospects for economic development, as opposed to concerns about government efficiency, can play an important role in building support for local government consolidation efforts. The importance of economic opportunities in government consolidation was a key conclusion within Ball State University’s recently published policy brief, Indiana’s Government Modernization Act & Local Government Consolidation Experiences: Process and Politics.

DOD designates six consortia as Defense Manufacturing Communities

Six organizations — including SSTI members Catalyst Connection and the Ohio Development Services Agency — have been designated to lead the new defense manufacturing community consortia. The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has announce that these organizations are now eligible to enter the next phase of development and submit their requests for technical assistance, grants, and other support services. The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP) was authorized in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act as a new program offered by OEA.

Looking for inspiration? NIH develops interactive tool for discovering successful high-tech small businesses

As the global economy continues to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released an interactive online tool for discovering success stories of small business innovation and entrepreneurship. Showcasing several of the businesses that have successfully leveraged NIH small business funding — totaling more than $1 billion annually — to develop healthcare products and services, NIH’s Small Business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) office hopes that the tool will inspire others to start businesses and develop their technologies.

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