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Recent Research: Does merit aid help improve educational metrics for low-income students?

A recent study found that merit aid awards increased four-year bachelor’s degree completion rates for students – especially among students that were unlikely to pursue the four-year program in the absence of financial aid. A team of researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research assessed the marginal effects that merit aid from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (STBF) has on students attending public colleges in Nebraska.

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D by state and funding source, 2011-2020

Continuing a streak lasting at least 10 years, the federal government was again the top funder of Higher Education R&D (HERD) in 2020. However, new SSTI analysis shows that the federal share of HERD funding has continued to decline nationally and in most states over the 10-year period from 2011 to 2020. This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats provides an analysis of HERD funders by state in 2020, and an examination of 10-year trends for the period from 2011 to 2020 in HERD funding by source.

Recent Research: How do angel and venture capital financing compare for startups?

A team of researchers recently assessed the relationship between angel investing and venture capital (VC) for startups. Although they found some variation in the performance of companies based on their share of angel and VC financing, there was no clear indication that angel investing provides any unique value for a startup.

State of Maryland drops degree requirements, opens door to more applicants

Workforce development efforts in Maryland gained national attention this month as Gov. Larry Hogan announced the launch of a new initiative to formally eliminate the four-year college degree requirement from thousands of state jobs, substituting relevant experience, training, and/or community college education for the degree.

APLU report outlines steps for collaboration to advance US innovation

There is an opportunity to turbocharge U.S. innovation by addressing barriers to collaboration between research universities and industry, according to Sheila Martin, vice president of economic development and community engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Are specialized VCs special?

A recent analysis by PitchBook attempts to assess whether venture capital funds that specialize in a specific technology sector outperform generalist VCs or VCs that are targeted but not quite “specialized.” In short, the answer is no, at least as measured by financial return.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2022: Innovation agendas from the governors’ State of the State addresses

The last of the governors have delivered their State of the State addresses. With 36 gubernatorial elections this fall, many governors appeared to be more conservative in their addresses this year, speaking more about past accomplishments rather than rolling out new programs. This week features comments from California, Louisiana, Nevada and Ohio’s governors as their addresses related to the innovation economy.

President Biden’s Buy American final rule increases domestic manufacturing content requirements

This month, President Joe Biden announced the final rule of his Buy American initiative, which includes increasing the mandated U.S.-made content for federal contractors from 55 percent to 75 percent over seven years and strengthening domestic supply chains for critical goods.

ARC awards nearly $21 million to revitalize coal-impacted communities; projects support innovation

Today the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded nearly $21 million for 21 projects impacting 211 counties through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization

ISTC releases 2022 R&D Index

The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) released its 2022 R&D Index earlier this week. The 2022 R&D Index, which is one component of ISTC’s Illinois Innovation Index, assesses Illinois’s capacity for innovation and economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The last R&D Index released by ISTC was in 2019.

Among the key findings of the report:

NSF announces Tech Directorate

Following President Joe Biden’s signing of the FY 2022 budget, yesterday the National Science Foundation announced the formation of the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate that was approved in the bill.

Congress reveals final 2022 budget midway through year

More than five months into the fiscal year, Congress has finally proposed a full budget for FY 2022. While the legislation has not passed both chambers as of this writing, the discretionary spending provisions are expected to remain unchanged. Few programs received as much funding as the House proposed in its appropriations bills last summer, but science and innovation initiatives generally received at least some additional funding.