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Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 3: Economic development, broadband, education and climate change driving governors’ innovation agendas

This week, we see broadband investment in Indiana; education initiatives that begin with pre-K and extend beyond high school in a number of states; lifelong learning approaches; apprenticeships; climate change and green energy initiatives in Nevada and Washington; and more on governors’ agendas. As governors across the country continue to deliver their state of the state addresses to their legislatures and constituents, SSTI monitors the speeches for news of innovation related initiatives.

State support for higher education grows “marginally”

From FY 2018 to FY 2019, state fiscal support for higher education grew by 1.6 percent nationwide and increased in 45 states, according to new data from the Grapevine Survey, a project of Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Education Policy in cooperation with the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).

Maryland Gov. proposes $56 million for Opportunity Zone programs

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s FY 2020 budget proposal includes $56.5 million in new funding to attract businesses to Opportunity Zones. Other new innovation funding would support manufacturer hiring credits and a seed fund for minority entrepreneurs. Under the governor’s proposal, TEDCO, the state’s primary innovation agency, would see its spending increase from $27 million to $45 million.

Shuttered agencies represent $38 billion in science, innovation, economic development funding

As the partial government shutdown enters its second month, the impacts across America are increasingly disruptive. The agencies that do not have a current budget were appropriated more than $38.9 billion for R&D, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, broadband, science, economic development and other activities related to regional innovation economies in FY 2018.

Concentration shaped 2018 VC industry; record number of unicorns

Based upon the finding of two reports – the 4Q Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor and the MoneyTree Report –   SSTI identified three significant trends that impact the startup capital community: geographic concentration, mega-rounds/funds, and strong VC-backed exit activity.

State economic development directors bring varied backgrounds to role

The 20 new governors elected last November are filling out their appointments, and SSTI’s analysis of those named as state economic development directors reveals an array of backgrounds leading into their new roles. New Republican governors have shown a greater propensity to choose a leader with an industry background, while new Democratic governors have been more likely to appoint  directors with economic development experience. From a former U.S.

Report reveals importance of foreign policy to middle class’ economic standing

The state of America’s foreign policy and the livelihoods of its middle-class are inextricably linked, according to a new report from Ohio State’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The report’s authors, using Ohio as a lens for their examination, conduct a thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis on this relationship.

SSTI Feature: Epicenter Memphis seeking big impact in regional innovation network

A note from the publisher (aka, Dan Berglund): Two of the most frequent questions SSTI staff is asked are: “What program, initiative, movement has piqued your interest?” and, “Who should we be watching and learning from?” While the answers are somewhat implied in what we cover in The Digest, host webinars on, and feature in conference content, look for occasional pieces in 2019 labeled “SSTI Feature” that offer a sampling of our answers to those questions.

Startups, investors may bear brunt of escalating US-China tensions

Last week, U.S. trade representatives traveled to Beijing for a round of trade talks with the hope of coming to an agreement that would end the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute. Alongside large corporations, many U.S. tech startups are watching the results of these talks with a close eye because they face significant concerns over the impact that increased tariffs will have on their business. But while tariffs have garnered most of the press attention, U.S. startups also face reduced access to foreign capital, increased regulatory scrutiny, and potential talent issues. Conversely, China is developing new strategies to ensure that more investment dollars will remain in their domestic startup capital community.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2019, part 2: Broadband, education, climate change fixes on governors’ radars

Reviewing another slate of governors’ state of the state and inaugural addresses reveals some recurring themes. With a focus on maintaining gains made since the Great Recession and increasing budgets, many governors are holding off on major new initiatives, but are proposing means to increase broadband access, diversify their economies, build renewable energy efforts, and increase their rainy day funds in case of an economic downturn. SSTI presents part 2 of our Tech Talkin’ Govs series, with coverage of governors in Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2019, part 1: Governors unveil broadband, workforce, and research proposals to build economies

With 36 governors being sworn in following the November elections, 20 of those being new faces and 16 who were re-elected, this year’s inaugural and state of the state addresses promise new ideas along with proposed resolutions to existing challenges. As the governors present their plans to constituents, SSTI revisits our Tech Talkin’ Govs series.

NIST tech transfer recommendations a good starting point, more is needed

NIST released a draft paper in December making recommendations for improvements to federal technology transfer and commercialization policy. The agency’s ideas ranged from clarifying march-in rights to compelling agency participation in technology entrepreneurship development. Although NIST is one of the agencies affected by the shutdown, comments on the draft paper were due Jan. 9.

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