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Federal innovation policy at the recess — what has moved in Congress and what may happen in the fall

The 116th Congress has already advanced policies to affect regional innovation economies, and much more is poised to happen once both chambers return in September. In addition to completing the FY 2019 budget (see our Feb. coverage), this session has seen Regional Innovation Strategies legislation pass the House and Senate (albeit in different bills); the Senate working toward an overhaul of the Small Business Administration; and, the start of the FY 2020 budget process.

Aging manufacturing workforce analyzed

Manufacturers are aware and concerned about the aging of their manufacturing workforce, according to a recent report from the Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research. The report notes that a recent outlook survey found that attracting and retaining a quality workforce is one of the top challenges facing manufacturers, where nearly one-quarter of the sector’s workforce is age 55 or older.

Pew launches interactive tool that monitors every state’s broadband policies and regulations

Broadband access is one of the pillars of economic development, yet as many as 24 million Americans, including a disproportionate percentage in rural areas, still lack high-speed and reliable internet service, according to the Pew Charitable Trust.

Gov. Gina Raimondo to welcome SSTI Annual Conference attendees

SSTI and conference host Rhode Island Commerce Corporation are pleased to announce Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to deliver welcoming remarks during the opening plenary session and officially kick off SSTI’s Annual Conference in Providence on September 10!

Gov. Raimondo became the state’s first female governor when she was first elected in 2014 and won re-election in 2018 for a second term. Prior to becoming governor, she worked as the General Treasurer of Rhode Island, spearheading landmark pension reform that would help reorder and ensure the state’s fiscal stability.

During her tenure, the governor has made advancements in education, innovation, and economic development a centerpiece of her economic growth plans. She is also working to make the state a national leader on college affordability and installed Rhode Island’s Promise, allowing two years of free college community college to every in-state student. She has worked to kick-start the state’s economy, and her economic development programs have helped lead the largest drop in the unemployment rate in the country. Her programs aim to increase collaboration, better attract entrepreneurs, create jobs, encourage existing businesses to grow, and foster innovation throughout state government.

NSF gearing up to fund new quantum research institutes

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced awards for Conceptualization Grants (CG) for Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, which are large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that aim to advance the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering.

SSTI partners with NSF to bring you latest in funding, entrepreneurial support

We are excited to be partnering with NSF during SSTI’s Annual Conference, Sept.9 through 11 in Providence, Rhode Island, to bring you the latest information and ideas on SBIR/STTR and university/industry partnerships.

University of Alaska students facing turmoil under budget cuts, academic consolidation

As the summer ends and students begin returning to school, the situation for students in the University of Alaska System is uncertain, although less so after recent negotiations between Gov. Mike Dunleavy and University of Alaska (U.A.) System’s administration.

Pennsylvania faces challenges, but has assets in innovation

An early national leader in technology-based economic development (TBED), Pennsylvania now faces several challenges in order to keep up with other states and regions, according to Ideas for Pennsylvania Innovation: Examining Efforts by Competitor States and National Leaders, a new report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings.

Sustained Commitment Results in Significant Impact

State and regional innovation programs continue to encourage significant economic growth across the country. The most recent example of the impact programs are having comes from JumpStart, a Cleveland-based venture development organization, which recently released its 2018 economic impact report. It found that companies in Ohio and New York fostered by JumpStart generated more than $1 billion in economic impact. This increased the cumulative JumpStart total to $6.6 billion since 2010.

Air Force Pitch Days showing signs of early success, 10 more scheduled in 2019

In response to its shrinking industrial base and having identified a gap in its ability to rapidly acquire and deploy innovative technologies, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) recently made some changes to its SBIR/STTR program. The new Pitch Days have already met with success and 10 more Pitch Days have been scheduled in 2019. The USAF expects to make its roughly $660 million of annual SBIR/STTR funding more easily available to a greater number of startup companies, thereby greatly expanding its industrial base, encouraging innovation and small business generation, and filling the innovation void left by the large prime contractors.

New A.T. Kearney report fuels debate over U.S. trade policy’s effect on reshoring

A recent report from global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney calls into doubt the ability of U.S. trade policy in encouraging domestic manufacturing firms to reshore their production efforts. Following the government’s release of 2018 trade data, A.T. Kearney published the findings from its sixth annual Reshoring Index, which compares year-over-year changes in U.S. manufacturing gross output to imports of manufactured goods from 14 traditionally low-cost country (LCC) trading partners in Asia.

2018 Halo Report released

The Angel Resource Institute has released its latest analysis of 2018 angel investing. Characterizing the full year of investments captured in the annual survey – more than 2,500 individual transactions – the report profiles activity by several different factors useful in understanding regional differences in the early stage financing community. It should be noted, however, that adjustments in the deal size ceiling for inclusion in the analysis for 2018, to reflect the degree to which angels are participating in next-stage rounds (Series A), make comparisons to previous years less meaningful.  

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