• SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference - December 3-5 in Salt Lake City

    The agenda and brochure are now online for SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape. Join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship. 

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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.

New reports provide insights into future federal apprenticeship, credentialing efforts

Two recently released, federally funded reports from the Urban Institute and Workcred provide insights into the Trump administration’s efforts to develop competency-based apprenticeships and new workforce credentials. Over the past year, the Trump administration has positioned these two workforce development approaches as the central focus of its workforce development planning.

Developed under a contract from the Department of Labor (DOL), the Urban Institute released the first set of recommendations for competency-based occupational apprenticeship frameworks. Separately, in partnership with National Institute of Standards and Technology Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP), Workcred – an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) affiliate – published a report to help strengthen the quality, value and effectiveness of manufacturing credentials in the United States.

Census Bureau seeks comment on 2018-22 BRDS, to host webinar on 2017 ACS release

The U.S. Census Bureau seeks comments on all aspects of the Business Research and Development Survey for the 2018-2022 releases. Collected in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the survey provides comprehensive data on Research and Development (R&D) costs and detailed expenses by type and industry. The U.S. Census Bureau also announced that it would start collecting data about R&D on artificial intelligence and geographic detail of companies' R&D workforce in 2018.  For those interested in providing feedback, comments are due by October 23.

USPTO releases draft strategic plan, seeks comments

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a draft of its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The draft plan identifies three strategic goals to guide USPTO’s activities over the 4-year period. They include to: optimize patent quality and timeliness; to optimize trademark quality and timeliness; and, provide domestic/global leadership to improve intellectual property (IP) policy, enforcement, and protection worldwide. For interested parties, USPTO is seeking comments regarding all aspects of the plan. Comments are due September 20.

SSTI’s 2018 Annual Conference brochure now available online

Are you looking for ways to meet the challenges of today’s technology-based innovation economy? Explore the many sessions and speakers that will be featured during SSTI’s 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape, happening Dec. 3-5 in Salt Lake City. Our conference brochure is now available online and registration is open.

Four states selected for Policy Academy to strengthen manufacturing

Four states have been selected to participate in a Policy Academy designed to help grow and strengthen manufacturing in their states. State teams will begin meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. with policy experts to develop or further refine strategies to bolster manufacturing. The four participants chosen for the Policy Academy are Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Utah.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

Recent Research: The roles, impact that accelerators can have on a regional innovation system

Last week, SSTI looked at an academic research study on the impact that accelerator feedback has on firms. This week, we examine two recent academic studies that looked at the impact accelerators have on regional innovation systems. In the first study from researchers at USC and Rice University, Fehder and Yael Hochberg found that the introduction of an accelerator into a metro area helped to stimulate startup capital. In another recent study, two City University of New York researchers and one from Michigan State University contend that there are three distinct types of accelerators that serve different roles in an innovation system. They include deal-flow makers, welfare stimulators, and ecosystem builders.

NSF, NASA step up minority STEM-focused awards

As the National Science Foundation points out in a recent press release, people of Hispanic descent comprise 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 6 percent of people working in STEM-related occupations.  Other minorities, including African Americans and Native Americans are also underrepresented in the career paths most critical to maintain American preeminence in innovation and science. New funding rounds distributed by three federal initiatives at NSF and NASA intend to help improve the imbalance.

Commentary: Making the most of federal funds for regional innovation

At the end of this month, applications are due for two of the federal government’s most notable programs for funding clusters and regional innovation initiatives: the SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) program and the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. As practitioners develop their proposals for these programs, it is worth considering potential lessons learned from the successes of previous awardees and the major challenges they have faced.

NLC announces ‘Call to Action’ with commitments to innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM

The National League of Cities is asking local public, private, and civic leaders to make new, measurable, and impactful commitments to increasing the adoption of technology, improving the climate for entrepreneurship, and expanding youth and adult opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the local level. By making a commitment, NLC invites cities to take part in its City Innovation Ecosystems program, which seeks to help local leaders achieve their goals by marketing and branding best practices, providing technical assistance, promoting peer learnings, and connecting cities to national private and philanthropic partners. NLC will highlight accepted commitments at its City Summit in Los Angeles from November 7-10.

NSF updates Science and Engineering State Profiles

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released updated Science and Engineering (S&E) State Profiles – an online portal that provides state-level rankings and totals of S&E data for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The portal also provides a data tool that allows users to compare up to seven states or download entire data sets. In the most recent update, NSF allows user to explore data for the years 2015 to 2017. S&T indicator by state include, but are not limited to:

Accelerators help improve efficiency of startup capital

Over the last decade, accelerators have spread from a Silicon Valley phenomenon to communities across the country. Questions, however, remain on their impact on startups and whether they aid in creating a strong startup ecosystem.