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OMB provides guidance on flexibility for federal grant funding

Just days after the first reported US death from COVID-19, federal grant recipients capable of performing essential research and services related to COVID-19 were provided with additional flexibilities to the terms of their contracts and supplied with additional administrative resources to pivot their efforts towards combatting the virus.

The growing college wealth divide — a quick look

While the income benefits of a college education receive frequent attention, a recent article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis highlights the importance of a college degree for wealth accumulation. The average wealth for a college-educated household has tripled since the 1970s, while wealth for households without degrees have remained stagnant. These divergent trends in economic well-being are further evidence of the growing inequality among Americans, and the rising importance of education to staying ahead of this divide.

Report: Nearly half of small businesses not ready for two-week slowdown

A report released last fall on the financial stability of U.S. small businesses in 25 metros has been given new context as attempts to slow the coronavirus pandemic have brought a majority of in-person commerce to a halt across communities, the country, and the globe.

Manufacturers needed in COVID-19 response

The White House has reached out to the National Association of Manufacturers to seek volunteers who can donate and provide and/or produce within two weeks large-scale quantities of critical supplies to help the nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that may have the ability to produce needed supplies are urged to respond to the survey found here.

Pandemic upends states’ legislative sessions

Postposed primary elections, shuttered schools, sheltering in place orders and millions of workers shifting to home offices while others are displaced completely — the COVID-19 pandemic is radically altering the way of life for the country. States, too, are scrambling to respond to the pandemic while dealing with ongoing legislative sessions and budget negotiations. Some of those responses are detailed here.

NIST seeking pathways for including non-federal manufacturing centers in national network

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking to expand the network of Manufacturing USA centers for innovation, providing pathways for participation from external industry organizations, according to a recent notice in the Federal Register.

NIH activates new funding vehicle for COVID-19 R&D, other measures seek more information

For the first time and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) together with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has activated the NIH Urgent Award mechanism. The targeted opportunity is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees applying to expand the scope of their active grant.

Biotech industry diversity examined

The biotechnology industry has made progress in increasing representation, especially in pre-revenue, smaller and private companies, however, diversity and inclusion programming is still in the nascent stages at most companies responding to a survey by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

SEC proposes changes to exempt offerings including crowdfunding

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed rule changes that aim to make fundraising easier for new companies, including by expanding crowdfunding’s applicability and allowing for “demo day” communications. The changes target three particular methods of exemptions: Regulation A, Rule 504 of Regulation D, and Regulation Crowdfunding.

.ORG management change could double URL fees

Organizations using a web address ending in .ORG should be aware of an upcoming change affecting website registrations. In brief, the nonprofit manager of the .ORG top-level domain is requesting permission from ICANN, which is ultimately responsible for domain registration, to a private equity firm.

NYT declares tech “humbled” but overreaches on underlying data

A recent New York Times article points to high-profile stumbles by tech startups, particularly underwhelming IPOs by billion-dollar companies and thousands of people laid-off, and declares “start-up bloom deflates, tech is humbled.” As SSTI expressed concern abou

Is every job a STEM job?

STEM and the American Workforce, a new report backed mostly by science associations, points to STEM jobs as one-third of direct employment, two-thirds of total employment, and 69 percent of America’s GDP. The authors highlight that 60 percent of STEM jobs are filled by people without bachelor’s degrees.

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