• SSTI's 2019 Annual Conference - September 9th-11th in Providence, RI

    SSTI and conference host Rhode Island Commerce Corporation invite you to 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.


Acceptance rate of H1-B visas continues decline

The share of H-1B applications approved by United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) in FY 2018 was well below the levels in FY 2017 and FY 2016, and new data from the first quarter of FY 2019 shows a continuing downward trend.

ITIF: Leverage cleantech to accelerate economic growth

There are numerous opportunities for policymakers and elected officials at the state and local levels to encourage clean energy, and doing so could spur economic development, according to a new report by David Hart, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and a professor of public policy at George Mason University.  As state and local leaders pursue these strategies, Hart focuses on five non-exclusive tracks to pursue: offering

Kauffman Foundation updates indicators, State of Entrepreneurship Address

Too many communities continue to focus on business attraction in lieu of entrepreneurial support, according to the Kauffman Foundation leadership in their 10th annual State of Entrepreneurship Address. To increase the focus on entrepreneurs, the foundation indicated it plans to help 200 communities across the country, and 200,000 entrepreneurs in these communities over the next five years, with an emphasis on the middle of country and underrepresented populations, but it did not provide specific details on how it would provide that assistance. As part of the effort, Kauffman also released a checklist highlighting barriers and breakthroughs in entrepreneurship, as well as ways individuals can help grow more inclusive and innovative local economies. In the week leading up to the address, Kauffman also introduced four indicators at the national, state, and metropolitan levels as part of its new approach to tracking early-stage entrepreneurship.

US female workers with doctorates in science, engineering, and health fields increasing

The number of U.S.-trained female science, engineering, or health (SEH) doctorate holders residing and working in the U.S. has more than doubled, going  from 119,350 in 1997 to 287,250 in 2017, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 1997, less than one-fourth (23 percent) of the U.S.-trained SEH doctorate holders working in the U.S. were women. Twenty years later, that number had increased to 35 percent.

Budget deal contains modest boost for innovation funding

The FY 2019 federal budget was completed last week, finalizing funding for commerce, science and small business agencies. Most programs supporting innovation activities received the same funding as in FY 2018, although Regional Innovation Strategies will have $23.5 million, an increase of $2.5 million, for the current award solicitation. More details on each agency’s budget are below — SSTI members are also reminded to stay tuned to the Funding Supplement throughout the year for notices when each program’s funding opportunity is available.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 7: States look to educated populace to help build prosperity

As the states turn to tackling their budgets, governors are presenting their spending and revenue proposals, and SSTI continues to monitor these. Budget constraints and deficits are problems for governors in Connecticut and Illinois, and Connecticut’s governor is proposing expanding the sales tax base while focusing on loan forgiveness and clean energy. Education is on the agenda in Illinois where the governor is hoping to build prosperity through skills training and college affordability.

Practical ways to increase women in entrepreneurship roles subject of new playbook

Fighting stereotypes, finding capital and scaling up are just some of the techniques outlined in a new playbook designed to bring more women in entrepreneurship roles and revitalize the U.S. economy. Elevating Women in Entrepreneurship, by Erika R. Smith and Brita Belli, published by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), is a playbook outlining common misconceptions surrounding women in entrepreneurship and a practical guide on overcoming obstacles and building on best practices.

Useful Stats: Educational Attainment by Metropolitan Area (2007-2017)

For states and metropolitan areas across the country, cultivating a skilled and educated workforce is a critical part of economic development. In 2017, metropolitan areas anchored by major research universities – regions like Boulder, Ann Arbor, and Corvallis – had the highest share of adults 25+ with at least a bachelor’s degree, according to an SSTI analysis of recent census data.

Report finds opportunities for states, locals to advance clean energy innovation

A recent report by Breakthrough Energy, co-chaired by former Energy secretary Ernest Moniz, calls for a better policy approach to supporting clean energy. Their premise is that America has led the way in this industry, but that the way forward requires innovation on a greater scale than we have achieved before, and that this, in turn, requires better coordination of systems.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 6: Education, workforce, climate change top TBED agendas

Educating the next generation of workers, ensuring they will have the skills necessary for the jobs of the future and paying attention to the actions that will affect the climate are all on the agendas of the latest round of governors giving their state of the state and budget addresses. A focus on skills can be seen in addresses from governors in California, Maine, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. States are also continuing with initiatives to forward attention on climate change, as reflected in Maine’s climate agenda and Michigan joining other states in the Climate Alliance.

Recent Research: Exposure to innovation more important than financial incentives in increasing the number of inventors, researchers find

Recent research revealed that exposure to innovation (e.g., mentorship program and immersive K-12 STEM education experience) during childhood and young adulthood has a greater effect on the decision to pursue careers in innovation than financial incentives. Researchers Alexander M. Bell, Raj Chetty, and their co-authors developed a model to analyze the impact of several factors on inventor career choices.

$24M Foundation gift to U. Arkansas transforms commercialization, economic development

Late last year, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation announced a $23.7 million investment to strengthen technology-based economic development efforts at the University of Arkansas.

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