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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.


How new antitrust rules may affect tech startups

In Washington and Brussels, lawmakers are increasingly vocal about expanding the application of antitrust rules within the tech sector. Recent activity includes a report from Democrats on the House antitrust subcommittee, the Trump administration preparing an antitrust suit against Google, and the European Union (EU) considering new antitrust rules following billions of dollars in fines to major tech companies. While much of these actions’ coverage focuses on how changes would affect the companies that are being targeted by these efforts, the impacts would affect the entire tech sector.

Recent Research: Exploring the role of social mobility in the rise of populism

In a recently revised working paper from the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the contemporary rise of populism is explained in a new light, that of unfair economic outcomes, often in the form of low social mobility.

ITIF’s long-running State New Economy Index issues 2020 state ranks

Utah and Maryland have climbed the ranks and moved into third and fourth place behind two long-standing leaders in the Information Technology and Information Foundation’s (ITIF) State New Economy Index. The index measures states’ structural capacity for successfully navigating a global economy that is increasingly driven by technological innovation. ITIF’s recent release of the updated 2020 index and state rankings provides a long-term picture of how several states have been strengthening their economies for the future.

Improved technologies could cut energy usage by 60 percent

With the continuing development of efficient technologies, energy consumption may drop 60 percent by 2050 while continuing to provide decent living standards, according to a new study. Research by the University of Leeds, published as Providing Decent Living with Minimum Energy: A Global Scenario in Global Environmental Change, developed a roadmap for lowering worldwide energy usage.

Venture capital booming — and entrenching

The venture capital (VC) market appears to be another part of the American economy experiencing a "K-shaped" recovery, with some participants achieving new highs as others are ignored altogether.

EDA announces $25 million funding opportunity for TBED through 2020 SPRINT Challenge

The Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) has announced $25 million for the Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge utilizing funding from the CARES Act.

Designing the future of America’s nanotechology industry

As the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) prepares to enter its third decade, it is seeking public input on what that future should look like. NNI is drafting its 2021 strategic plan and has several big changes under consideration, including a reorganization and shifts in research and commercialization priorities.

Stats on new business starts may be sending wrong signal

While new business starts this year are outpacing last year’s rate, those numbers may not signal an increase in entrepreneurship as some press coverage is implying. Business formation statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday showed a dramatic 77 percent increase in business applications for the third quarter of the year over the second, but a closer look at those applications reveals that many may not survive.

$300 million gift to MO higher ed will support innovation and entrepreneurship

In the largest single gift in the history of Missouri higher education, $300 million has been donated to support Missouri S&T that will enable the university to establish a new school of innovation and entrepreneurship, among other things. The benefactors are St. Louis businessman Fred Kummer, a graduate of the school who credited the education he received there with his success, and his wife.

SEC open for public comment on proposed ‘finders’ exemptions

"Finders," those who connect potential investors with issuers (e.g., startups seeking funding) within private markets, would not be required to register as brokers under recently proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exemptions. Currently, individuals who work to connect investors and issuers — including simply providing issuers with a contact list and regardless of whether any advice is provided or whether the connection is made on behalf of one of the parties to any investment — may be required to register with the SEC as a broker.

BEA data shows steep declines in state GDP in Q2 of 2020

The depth of the recession is coming into clearer view with the recent release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the second quarter of 2020. A press release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that real GDP decreased by double digits in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; ranging from a 42.2 percent drop in Hawaii and Nevada to a 20.4 percent drop in the District of Columbia.

$5.5B for R&D in CA among critical state ballot initiatives

With the general election less than one month away, SSTI has reviewed the 120 state ballot initiatives throughout the country for innovation-related issues. Education, gig workers, redistricting and issues surrounding elections and state budgets are scattered across the country and can affect the future of innovation through funding, talent and political will. Read below for coverage on the initiatives that could have an impact on different segments of the economy and the future of innovation.

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