Public, Private Sector Entities Announce Initiatives to Connect Globally

As the world becomes more globally connected, both public and private entities have turned their attention to foreign markets in the hopes of spurring innovation, capital creation, and economic prosperity. Whether their effort is developing international business partnerships, attempting to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), investing in startups, or taking advantage of international demand, the entities establishing these initiatives view long-term economic success for both firms and regions as dependent upon entering the global market place. Initiatives in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are examples of public sector efforts that are looking for opportunities abroad to support economic growth.

DOE Awards $3.2M to Launch National Clean Energy Incubator Network

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy (NIICE).  NIICE will serve a national support network for the nation’s clean energy startup community and the incubators that support them. The network will provide technical assistance and training services to help clean energy startups move their products closer to market readiness. It also will help establish a suite of technological and training resources, bring together energy industry partners, enhance incubator best practices, and increase access to information about industry resources to advance innovative clean energy technologies with commercial viability emerging from institutions of higher education and federal laboratories.

New York Launches $1B Green Bank; Other States Seeking Best Practices

A proposal first announced during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State address came to fruition earlier this month with a request for proposals (RFP) to fund clean energy projects through New York’s newly established green bank. A green bank is a state-sponsored nonprofit lender that provides long-term, low-cost financing support. Its purpose is to increase public-private investing in clean energy while offering consumers lower-cost energy solutions, according to the Green Bank Academy.

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part IV

The fourth installment of SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Illinois, Massachusetts and Utah. Read part I, part II and part III

U.S. Navy Invests $30M in HI Cleantech Accelerator

The U.S. Department of Defense Office of Naval Research has announced a $30 million investment in Energy Excelerator, an accelerator for cleantech companies within the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR). Energy Excelerator originally launched three years ago with $10 million in seed funding from the Department of Energy. The new funding will be used to expand the accelerator’s capital and entrepreneurial support programs for clean energy startups in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region. Read the announcement...

Venture Capital Investment Increases, Internet Companies Benefit

In the second quarter (Q2) of 2013, venture investment totaled $6.7 billion over 913 deals, according to the quarterly survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the amount of venture capital investment increased 12 percent and the number of deals increased 2 percent. Although still well below venture capital investment highs in 2007, Q2 2013 had the largest total amount of investment in a year.

GAO Report Reveals Lingering Challenges, Opportunities for Green Jobs Initiatives

Green jobs have been at the center of a number of controversies in economic development circles over the past decade. Key among these debates is whether or not sufficient job opportunities exist to justify large public investments in green job-training programs. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that, at least at the federal level, a great deal of uncertainty remains about the green job labor market. The report lays out a number of challenges for green jobs initiatives at the Department of Labor, where job placement is only at 55 percent of its target levels. In doing so, the GAO report shows that there is room for improvement in green jobs programs at the federal, state and regional level.

Puerto Rico Gov Joins List of Govs Using Executive Orders to Boost Renewable Energy

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla recently issued three executive orders aimed at advancing the island's renewable energy industry. The orders will grant priority approvals to renewable energy projects and introduce two new councils that will coordinate energy initiatives. Gov. Garcia Padilla joins a growing list of governors who have used executive orders to quickly implement energy policies without going to the legislature. The National Governors Association (NGA)has published an issue brief on the use of executive orders in energy policy, along with an index of these orders since 2008.

Federal Agencies Release Information on Manufacturing Institutes, Manufacturing Partnership

Last week, the Obama administration announced that it would commit $200 million to establish three new manufacturing innovation institutions in 2013 (see the May 8, 2013 issue of the digest). The announcement was followed by the release of a funding announcement for the first of those proposed institutes — the Department of Energy-administered Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The Department of Defense released requests for information on the two proposed institutes focused on digital manufacturing and design and lightweight and modern metals manufacturing. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) also released a funding announcement for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (see the April 24, 2013 issue of the Digest).

White House Targets Clean Energy Manufacturing to Boost U.S. Competitiveness

Last week the Obama administration launched a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative housed within the Department of Energy. The initiative will use public-private partnerships to drive an open-source, "smart" manufacturing network that will help U.S. clean energy manufacturing firms reduce costs, increase competitiveness, and boost productivity.


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