• SSTI's 2019 Annual Conference - September 9th-11th in Providence, RI

    SSTI and conference host Rhode Island Commerce Corporation invite you to join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship.

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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.


Degree requirements dropped as equity sought in workplace

At a time when higher education degrees are both under scrutiny and lauded, one county government in Colorado is experimenting with an initiative that has eliminated degree requirements for more than 80 positions. It wasn’t the value of the degree that prompted the move, but the question of equity and wanting to achieve a more inclusive workforce. While such moves are rare, similar efforts may blaze the way to new workforce requirements and advancements and help inclusion.

SSTI releases RFP for 2020 conference host

Is your region creating a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship? Do you want to share your story and have colleagues from across the country come to your region to see your successes firsthand? SSTI has opened our request for proposals to host SSTI’s 2020 Annual Conference. Hosts receive coverage for their regional innovation economies over the course of a year and are featured on-site through the plenary and breakout sessions, exhibit space and more. Submit a compelling proposal by Sept. 16 to be considered.

SSTI letter to Senate supporting SBA innovation programs

As covered in the last Weekly Digest, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on reauthorizing SBA’s innovation programs. SSTI was invited to add to the hearing’s record, and our letter supporting SBIR/STTR pilot programs, FAST and entrepreneurial development programs is produced, below.

SBA funding available for accelerators, SBIR aid

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released FY 2019 announcements for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) funding. Accelerators emphasizing underserved entrepreneurs can submit a brief application and slide deck from June 10-20; SBA anticipates as many as 60, $50,000 awards. FAST provides a funding match for programs supporting SBIR/STTR outreach and support services; the program is limited to one, governor-supported application per state, so interested parties should begin considering their application well ahead of the June 28 deadline. SSTI will be hosting a free webinar on June 5 at 3 p.m. EDT, in which SBA staff will discuss the two funding opportunities: register today.

SSTI Commentary: Reflections on renewing the middle class

Scarcity and systems issues on a biosphere level (ocean warming, acidification, deforestation, CO2 levels, etc.) aren’t the only reasons some people are beginning to have their doubts on whether capitalism is up to the challenges the world is facing. Some are wondering if the very success of our dominant economic model isn’t reaching limits of propriety of its own making.  A growing number of this community, including some among the well-to-do, are beginning to wonder aloud what’s next? What comes after capitalism?

Bipartisan bill would improve Manufacturing USA

Eight U. S. senators introduced a bill last week, endorsed by SSTI and more than two dozen organizations, that would provide performing Manufacturing USA centers with a path for continued federal support, while also better-incorporating the centers into other manufacturing and innovation resources around the country.

Hearing sets stage for Senate to strengthen SBIR

The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR. Earlier in the day, Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) published a report on business investment, which places many shortcomings of the national economy at the feet of “sharedholder primacy” and calls for policies to incentivize investment by businesses into research and innovation. Among the topics raised during the hearing were making SBIR/STTR permanent, faster contracting, and additional support for innovative companies.

Useful Stats: Per Capita Gross State Product, 1998-2018

Although North Dakota’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has declined since 2013, the energy boom in earlier years gave the state the fastest increase over the past 10- and 20-year periods, according to an SSTI analysis of recently updated state GDP data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Beyond North Dakota, the 10 years from 2008 to 2018 benefitted per capita GDP in states with a prominent knowledge economy, led by New York, California, Washington and Massachusetts. In general, per-capita gross product serves as a useful metric because it can show a state’s relative economic performance against its peers and over time. This article examines state GDP per capita over the past 20 years.*

Benchmark report reveals threats to US science, tech leadership

While the U.S. continues to lead the world in science, technology and innovation, other nations are on track to catch and surpass the lead the country currently holds, according to a new report from the Task Force on American Innovation (TFIA). In Second Place America? Increasing Challenges to U.S. Scientific Leadership, TFIA, a non-partisan alliance of leading American companies and business associations, research university associations, and scientific societies, benchmarks the U.S.

Science & Innovation policy research hub seeking content; EDQ call for papers on rural economic development

The Fung Institute at the University of California Berkeley, with funding support from the National Science Foundation, has established a website to serve as a centralized hub for finding research papers, analyses, and case studies on science and innovation policy. Papers to be included may develop models, analytical tools, data, and metrics to enable science and innovation policymakers and TBED practitioners to improve the impacts derived from public investments and policy interventions. 

Fed research explores employment opportunities for workers without college degrees

More than one-in-five jobs across America’s metropolitan areas are defined as opportunity occupations, those that pay above the national annual median wage and are accessible to workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to new research from authors at the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland. In Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time, authors Kyle Fee and Lisa Nelson from the Cleveland Fed and Keith Wardrip from the Philadelphia Fed reexamine findings from a 2015 study. This update offers an in-depth analysis of the largest metropolitan areas across the country, finding that a region’s occupational mix and cost of living play a significant role in determining their share of opportunity employment.

Washington’s expansive college tuition program intended to build state's workforce

The Washington legislature passed a higher education bill that is awaiting the governor’s signature that would provide more aid for state residents attending higher education institutions in the state. The bill could raise nearly $1 billion over four years through an increase in the state’s business and occupation tax.

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