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.


Report examines what works in rural innovation

Turning good intentions into actions is part of the motivation behind a recent report from the Community Strategies Group (CSG) of the Aspen Institute. The report, Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure, focuses on actions that could build capacity to advance rural community and economic development to improve equity, health and prosperity for future generations.

Little Rock site for SSTI’s 2020 Annual Conference!

SSTI is excited to announce Little Rock, Arkansas, as the site for our 2020 Annual Conference, Oct. 5-7. The conference is the premier gathering of practitioners and policymakers from across the country who work to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Virginia’s proposed legislation for innovation gathering steam

While Virginia has worked over the past 30 years to build their innovation economy, this past year it changed up the game. SSTI recently talked with Robby Demeria, Virginia’s deputy secretary of commerce and trade for technology, about the planning underway in Virginia and how the commonwealth is proceeding with a new initiative to grow their economy.

New book finds job-creation tax incentives mostly fail, improvements recommended

Tax incentives don’t affect a company’s decision on where to locate in a majority of cases, according to a new book. Making Sense of Incentives: Taming Business Incentives to Promote Prosperity by Timothy J. Bartik of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research does conclude that better-designed tax-incentive programs “when combined with business services and other smart policies … can be a cost-effective way to promote inclusive local economic growth.”

Online gallery highlights successful state and local partnerships with federal labs

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is showcasing a new, online gallery of successful stories of regional value produced when state and local government entities and federal laboratories work together. The State and Local Government T2 Partnerships Gallery features 11 stories from nine states, spotlighting partnerships from nine federal agencies, 12 federal laboratories, and their respective state and local government partners.

Manufacturing wage growth supporting Appalachian economy

Earnings for Appalachian manufacturing workers grew 3.4 percent from 2012 through 2017 to an average of $63,583. The growth is in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Industrial Make-up of the Appalachian Region, 2002-2017, which reviews employment and wages by sector across the region. Appalachian workers overall saw earnings increase by 3.7 percent over the five years.

Useful Stats: Higher Education R&D Expenditures by State, 2009-2018

Expenditures in higher education R&D (HERD) grew in FY 2018, increasing by $4.1 billion over FY 2017, the largest year-over-year increase since FY 2010-2011 according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. For the 10-year period from FY 2009 to FY 2018, HERD grew by 38.4 percent nationally, representing an increase of nearly $22 billion.

Universities launch incubators, accelerators and funds in 2019

Universities frequently play an integral role in providing activities, research, and products that positively affect or support local, regional, state and national economic development or strategic goals.  In higher-education’s efforts to align its participation in innovation and entrepreneurship systems, universities’ incubators, accelerators and fund programs are essential in assisting their faculty, staff, or students in the services and support needed to create startups, bring products to market, or provide critically needed funding.

Virginia tech talent initiative fueled by Amazon need

Students and tech employers stand to benefit from a new initiative in Virginia that grew out of the Commonwealth’s proposal to Amazon, which is building its second headquarters in Northern Virginia. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will invest in their tech talent pipeline to produce 31,000 new computer science graduates over 20 years.

SSTI receives recognition

SSTI received an Appreciation Award as part of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) Awards of Excellence at their 2019 International Conference earlier this month. SSTI President &CEO Dan Berglund accepted the award and has led SSTI since its launch in 1996. The award recognized the organization for having “helped develop a nationwide network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving the economy through science, technology and innovation.

State youth apprenticeship programs require better data collection practices

As employers continue to face a shortage in trained and skilled workers, federally registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) continue to grow as a response. However, the ability to evaluate these programs depends on the quality of data collection and reporting practices. While there are variations in the federal data collection and reporting standards for adult RAPs, new and innovative programs such as state youth apprenticeship programs face a greater disparity in the quality of data management practices. A new report makes recommendations for state and local leaders on better approaches to evaluating the programs.

To encourage business R&D: grants or tax credits?

The importance of business and industry R&D investment for competitiveness and economic growth is a well-entrenched dictum of national and state innovation policy across most of the developed world. Approaches for incentivizing increased research expenditures fall into two broad categories, direct grants and subsidies to offset R&D costs or R&D tax credits companies may take post-investment for research expenditures.

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