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SSTI Digest

NICE3 Program Awards $2.1 Million

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the award of more than $2.1 million in grants to six U.S. manufacturers to help demonstrate and commercialize energy-efficient and environmentally friendly industrial technologies. The grants support technologies being developed for use in the chemicals, metalcasting, aluminum, forest products, and steel industries.

Michigan to Reorganize Economic Development, Workforce Functions

Michigan Governor John Engler has signed an Executive Order reorganizing the state's economic development and workforce development functions. The reorganization, which was unveiled by the Governor in his State of the State address, permits the formation of a new Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in partnership with local governments.

ASME Offers Fellowships

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is seeking candidates for the White House Executive Office Fellowship and for the Congressional Fellowship.

Publications of Note

Two publications that will be useful to those interested in technology-based economic develop-ment have been released recently. They are:

Venture Capital Investments Up 24% In 1998

U.S. venture capital investments for 1998 were 24 percent higher than record levels set in 1997, according to the latest Pricewaterhouse-Coopers Money Tree Survey. Results from the survey of deals made during the fourth quarter of 1998 revealed venture capital investment for 1998 totaled $14.27 billion — $2.78 billion higher than the total posted in 1997, and 78 percent higher than 1996 totals.

MEP, SBA, Others Offer Y2K Action Week, Help

The Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and several other federal agencies have declared March 29 through April 2, 1999 as "Y2K Action Week." Several educational events and technical assistance opportunities are planned around the country, including a 2-hour satellite broadcast by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that will be hosted by Housing Authorities across America.

Maine Issues S&T Report Card

The Maine Science & Technology Foundation (MSTF) has released the 1998 Maine Science and Technology Report Card, a first look at the state’s performance across twenty science and technology related indicators. MSTF will use the report’s findings to develop benchmarks for the next revision of the state’s biennial strategic science and technology plan, due out this fall.

ASME Releases Position Paper on Kyoto Protocol

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has released a new paper that argues that even with maximum utilization of currently available technologies, the U.S. could not meet its carbon emission reduction obligations under the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol by 2008-2012.

DEFENSE PICKS 363 MORE SBIR PHASE I AWARDS

The Department of Defense has released statistics for the 98.2 Phase I solicitation of the Small Business Innovation Research Program. The agency announced selection of 363 Phase I awards in 36 states. DOD funded 10.9 percent of the 3,339 Phase I proposals received. An accompanying table on the SSTI web site http://ssti.org/Digest/Tables/DODPhase1.htm provides the distribution of awards and proposal-to-award conversion ratios by state. Abstracts for the selections may be found on the DOD SBIR website at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/sbir/

PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR PUSHES TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES, TAX CUTS

In the state that created the Ben Franklin Centers in the early 1980s - models for several states’ first forays into S&T - Governor Tom Ridge has proposed a wide range of new initiatives to promote R&D investment, technology development, and commercialization within Pennsylvania.

FEDERAL LABS SUPPORT AUTO INITIATIVE

Seven federal labs from the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Midwest Region - representing the Air Force, Army, Navy, Department of Energy, NASA, Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - are cooperating in an initiative to help automotive manufacturers and suppliers access the resources of the federal laboratory system.

NOMINEES SOUGHT FOR NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE

The President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science is currently accepting nominations for the year 2000 award. Nominations and supporting information must be postmarked by May 31. The National Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to knowledge in the fields of physical, behavioral, biological, social, mathematical, or engineering sciences. Since the Medal’s establishment in 1959, 362 scientists and engineers have been honored.

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