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SSTI Digest

Technology Transfer Act Moves Forward in House

A bill that would revise Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) provisions has passed the House Subcommittee on Technology. The amended version of the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 1997

EPA Releases Commercialization Assistance Publication

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Research and Development has produced a publication entitled Guide to Technology Commercialization Assistance for EPA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Awardees. Although designed to assist EPA SBIR award winners, most of the information is relevant to small technology businesses and entrepreneurs.

Bills Introduced to Address INFO Tech Worker Shortage

Representative James P. Moran (D-VA) recently introduced a package of five bills that he feels would help address the critical shortage of information technology workers that the United States currently faces. As reported in the January 23, 1998 issue of the Digest, the Information Technology Association of America predicts that there are approximately 346,000 unfilled information technology jobs in the country today due to a shortage of qualified workers.

Innovation Summit Calls for National Action Agenda

Nearly 150 American leaders launched a two-year initiative last week in the hopes of speeding the development of new technology. The initiative is the result of the National Innovation Summit sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Attendees included Vice President Al Gore, House Science Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, CEOs of numerous corporations, university presidents, labor leaders, and others.

House Science Committee Majority Releases R&D Budget Analysis

The majority members of the House Science Committee released an analysis of the President's R&D budget request. Overall, the report recognizes the real increase in non-defense R&D spending; however, it is critical of the increase being funded by uncertain tax increases. Some of the major conclusions from the report are:

South Carolina Releases S&T Strategic Plan

The South Carolina Technology Advisory Council (SCTAC) has released a technology strategy for the state. Creating South Carolina's Future Through Technology: Strategies for Developing a Knowledge-Based Economy grew from a 1995 strategic plan for economic development, Approaching 2000: An Economic Development Vision for South Carolina.

EDA Seeks Comments on Federal Statistical Data

As a result of a recent study on the federal role in economic development, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is concerned that the current federal statistical system is not meeting the needs of economic development practitioners. EDA has commissioned a web-based survey to assess the usefulness of the data.

Venture Capital Investments End the Year at Record Level

Price Waterhouse recently announced that venture capital investments hit an all-time record in the fourth quarter of 1997. Total investments exceeded $3.7 billion, eclipsing the previous high of $3.5 billion reported in the third quarter of 1997. Compared to the fourth quarter of 1996, investments increased 50%. These findings were released in the Price Waterhouse Venture Capital Survey, a quarterly report of venture capital investments throughout the United States.

NSF Assesses Benefits, Outcomes of ERC Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released an assessment of its Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program. The two-part study looked at two key aspects of the ERC program: ERC- industry interaction and effectiveness of former ERC graduate students in the workforce.

Benefits of R&D Tax Credit Reported

The R&D Credit Coalition recently released a report that concludes the federal R&D tax credit would pay for itself by boosting productivity and economic growth. According to the report, making the R&D tax credit permanent would stimulate an additional $41 billion in R&D activity by U.S. companies between 1998 and 2010.

Math & Science Performance Up in Most States

A recent study found that students are performing at higher levels in mathematics and are taking more higher-level math and science courses in the majority of the 40 states that participated in a recent study of U.S. mathematics and science education.

Use of Patent Fees Raises Concerns

Industry associations are expressing concern that the diversion of user fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is adversely affecting the speed of innovation. The PTO receives no taxpayer dollars and is supported entirely by user fees; however, for the last several years, most of those user fees have gone to the government's general fund to help balance the budget rather than to support PTO operations.

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