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.


DOE awards over $65M to commercialize promising energy technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced over $30 million in federal funding, matched by over $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies. The awards are expected to help transfer solutions from the National Labs to the marketplace and work toward the president’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

SBA seeks leaders to serve on Council of Underserved Communities

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is soliciting nominations of qualified former and current small business owners, community leaders, officials from small business trade associations, and academic institutions to serve on the Council of Underserved Communities (CUC). The CUC is being restored to help support the SBA’s prioritization of equity across its programs and initiatives. SBA seeks candidates representing both urban and underserved communities.

Useful Stats: 10-year trends in higher ed spring term enrollment by state, 2012-2021

Understanding enrollment trends at the nation’s institutions of higher education — an important indicator of the knowledge capital and skilled workforce available to local innovation economies — is paramount in developing appropriate strategies to bolster local and regional innovation and entrepreneurship. While many institutional reports cover only one or a few years’ worth of enrollment data, evaluating long-run trends can help policymakers and program designers identify issues that might otherwise be hidden, enabling the development of more effective policies and programs.

Life science industry proves resilient after difficult year

Helping to meet the challenge of fighting a global pandemic while growing high-quality jobs during an economic downturn, the life sciences industry showed its strength over the course of the past year. An update to the biennial Life Science Workforce Trends report from the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) asserts that it is because of the industry’s skilled-talent base and sets out to assess the industry’s position and priorities in 2021, focusing on its demands for workforce and talent.

WV science and tech plan outlines recommendations to grow state’s economy

West Virginia has updated its Vision 2025: West Virginia Science & Technology Plan (S&T Plan), which identifies four areas (life sciences, computer and data science, advanced manufacturing, and advanced energy) representing significant and growing university-based research and educational activities that align with the state’s target industries and workforce development goals. 

Want companies that have higher long-term job stickiness, survival rates and sales? If so, read this

Regardless of the approach used, the goal of every economic development program in the country is to create economic opportunity within a specific geographic area. If more local, state and federal policy makers and practitioners were aware that empirical research has revealed certain types of companies were 235 percent better than others at maintaining long-term job “stickiness,” would we shift more resources and priorities in their direction?  Would knowing these same companies also were shown to be more profitable, had higher sales, and had greater survival rates than others help persuade skeptics? Should more companies with these business models be part of your region’s portfolio of innovation-based firms?

Useful Stats: Higher ed spring term enrollment estimates by state, 2019-2021

Enrollment in the nation’s institutions of higher education is an important indicator of the knowledge capital available to local innovation economies. This edition of Useful Stats explores enrollment data from the recently updated National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) report , Current Term Enrollment Estimates, covering spring term enrollment trends at degree-granting institutions of higher education.

New Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap grant competition announced

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps that will address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S. and is inviting applications to its Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap (MfgTech) grants program.

Recommendations outlined for building better supply chains, revitalizing manufacturing and fostering broad-based growth

The White House has released reviews from the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Defense, and Health and Human Services in response to the president’s Executive Order on “America’s Supply Chains.” Vulnerabilities in supply chains were assessed in four key product areas: semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging; large capacity batteries; critical mineral and materials; and, pharmaceuticals and advanced pharm

Recent Research: Examining effective policies to support high-risk/high-reward research

High-risk/high-reward research can yield breakthroughs, produce new technologies, and allow the surrounding region to remain economically relevant. However, the scientific community remains concerned that research and development-focused policies, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, continue to be conservative with their goals by only encouraging incremental growth that can yield tangible results in shorter amounts of time. These concerns, and potential policy solutions, are explored in a recently published research paper by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

NYC investing $1B in life sciences

New York City  Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city is planning to double its $500 million investment in the LifeSci NYC commitment, to reach a total of $1 billion invested in life sciences over the next 10 years.

DOE awards $9.5 million to support clean energy innovation, commercialization

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that 10 accelerators and incubators across the country have been awarded $9.5 million in total funding through the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) to help develop pipelines for energy technology to reach the market.

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