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.


Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: NH offers help for students, CA for homeless

Two more governors have delivered their state of the state addresses over the past two weeks, with help for students taking the stage in New Hampshire while California’s governor enumerated the state’s growth and strengths, but devoted most of his remarks to the ongoing problem of homelessness.

Opportunity for regional policymakers to accelerate clean energy innovation

Clean energy innovation provides an opportunity for state-level policymakers and other stakeholders to expand economic opportunities and increase the impact of federal activity on climate and energy while also creating local economic development opportunities, according to a new report.

USDA announces new Agriculture Innovation Agenda

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced a new Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA) to accelerate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050.

Useful Stats: Establishment births and deaths and employment growth and loss, 2000-2018

This edition of Useful Stats examines — by state and over the period from 2000 to 2018 — how many new establishments were founded, how many jobs these new establishments created, how many establishments closed, and how many jobs were lost from those closing establishments. In only one year, the last year of the period, 2018, all states experienced positive net gains in employment and establishments, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As shown in the interactive map below, the states that had the greatest number of new establishments in 2018 were California (63,073), Florida (31,063), Texas (28,079), Washington (20,525), and New York (13,967). The states that experienced the greatest net employment numbers in 2018 were California (177,061), Florida (117,746), Texas (115,624), Washington (45,394), and New York (44,045).

Advanced manufacturing projects in 25 states share $140 million from DOE

The Advanced Manufacturing Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy awarded nearly $140 million to companies and universities in 25 states and the District of Columbia to support 55 advanced manufacturing research projects. Recipients are contributing an additional $47.8 million toward project costs. Projects received an average of $2.5 million, but range from $400,000 to $12 million. The accompanying map presents the distribution of awards across the country and brief details on each recipient.

Workforce development key to state economic development initiatives

A report on employment trends from hiring firm Robert Half found that 2020 presents greater challenges for employers looking to expand their workforce as the country’s labor market is near full employment and job openings remain at high levels.

Useful Stats: Per Capita County-level GDP

Although changes in gross domestic product (GDP) give us an idea of how economies are changing, this measure fails to tell the full story. This edition of Useful Stats examines county-level GDP-per-capita, the measure of economic output for each resident in an area. What we see is strongly skewed data with high 2018 GDP-per-capita levels and high 10-year growth rates concentrated primarily in low population-high output counties. We also see that rural populations have declined over the period while metropolitan areas have grown, yet the median GDP-per-capita growth rates between the groups are essentially the same.

Regional Innovation Strategies making $35 million available

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has announced the FY 2020 notice of funding availability for the Regional Innovation Strategies program. There are multiple changes to the program this year, including that EDA is now referring to the program as “Build to Scale.” A total of $35 million is available this year due to support from Congress with advocacy from SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council. The Trump Administration budget proposal for FY2020, and again for FY2021, proposed eliminating the program.

EDA, SBA receive support on the Hill

Just days after the White House proposed eliminating EDA’s and SBA’s innovation programs, SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council held more than two dozen meetings on Capitol Hill. Teams of universities, venture development organizations and statewide entities talked with congressional staff about the importance of the Regional Innovation Strategies (now “Build to Scale”), the Regional Innovation Clusters, and Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) programs. Offices were largely interested in, and supportive of, the message.

Another year, another budget declared DOA

The Trump administration released its FY 2021 budget this week. As with the past three iterations, Congress is unlikely to consider the proposal, which would cut domestic spending by 20 percent over a decade. Nonetheless, a quick review of the White House’s budget reveals the administration’s priorities: EDA, ARPA-E and MEP would be eliminated; total R&D would be cut by nine percent while dramatically increasing funding for AI and quantum information science; loan programs at USDA and SBA would see funding cuts made up through increasing user fees; and, technical education would see a boost through both investments in high school programs and apprenticeship initiatives.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: AL, CT, MD, OK, PA, TN, WY look to education, workforce and energy initiatives

With nearly 40 of the state governors now having given a state of the state or budget address, innovation themes continue to echo in their reviews of past accomplishments and plans for the coming year.

TEAMing-UP to increase diversity in physics and astronomy

During 2018 and 2019, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP), examined the persistent underrepresentation of African Americans in physics and astronomy in the U.S. as measured by bachelor’s degrees in these fields.

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