Trio of Tech-focused Tax Credits Pass in Louisiana Legislature

At the close of the 2011 legislative session in Louisiana last week, lawmakers approved three measures to encourage investment in high-tech economic endeavors. This includes renewing and enhancing the R&D tax credit and the Technology Commercialization credit and reinstating an angel investor tax credit for investment in emerging startups.

NY Dedicates Federal Funds for Investment in Emerging Tech Companies, Manufacturers

Lawmakers last week passed a measure establishing the Innovate NY Fund to invest $25 million of federal funds in technology development organizations, research universities, and seed-stage investment funds. The Empire State Development Corporation will administer the fund and establish a competitive process for evaluating applicants. Investment priority is given to companies involved in commercialization of R&D or high-tech manufacturing.

Officials in Louisiana, Rhode Island Tout Tech Hub Proposals

One is a proposed tech corridor focused on energy and environment in southeastern Louisiana and the other is being called a "knowledge district" meant to capitalize on the life sciences sector in Providence, but both have the same goal: growing high-tech industry sectors and creating high-wage jobs. Though the concept has been around for decades and is successful in many areas of the country, some states and regions are just now finding their niche and gaining support to establish tech hubs.

Two Long-standing TBED Organizations Joined to "Innovate Washington"

Created as the successor to two longstanding and accomplished tech-based economic development organizations — the Washington Technology Center (WTC) and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI) — Innovate Washington will serve as the state's primary agency responding to tech transfer needs and strengthening university-industry partnerships. Innovate Washington also will coordinate the state's clean energy initiatives.

Ohio Budget Seeks Dedicated Funding for Jobs Program

Leasing the state's wholesale liquor distribution system to JobsOhio to provide a dedicated funding source of about $100 million annually for job creation is a key component to reforming Ohio's economic development efforts under Gov. John Kasich. The governor unveiled the plan last week as part of the 2012-13 biennial budget. The proposed budget also sets aside $33 million in the second year of the biennium to facilitate the transfer of economic development initiatives from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to the newly established nonprofit corporation.

Virginia Lawmakers Dedicate Additional Funding for TBED, Higher Ed

Lawmakers approved many of Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposals aimed at growing Virginia's technology and life sciences industries by dedicating about half of the funding requested by the governor to support R&D, commercialization, SBIR matching grants, and funding for early stage equity investments. To help reach a goal of adding 100,000 college graduates to the state over the next 15 years, lawmakers also passed the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, providing enrollment-based funding to increase access to higher education and enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of study.

Expanding Tax Credits for R&D, Tech Commercialization Among Govs' Priorities in NJ, LA

Recognizing the value in supporting companies that innovate to create high-quality jobs, governors in New Jersey and Louisiana recently outlined proposals to enhance tax incentives for R&D, technology commercialization, and transferable tax certificates during the upcoming legislative sessions. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie proposed increasing the R&D tax credit to 100 percent and restoring full funding for the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer program as part of his FY12 budget recommendations. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his intentions to work with the legislature to extend and enhance two innovation-related tax incentives — the R&D tax credit and the Technology Commercialization Credit/Jobs Program — when the session convenes in April.
New Jersey

Spending Plans in IA and MA Seek to Balance Cuts with Job Creation Efforts

Deep cuts to higher education and reorganizing economic development efforts are common themes in executive budget proposals across most of the country as governors seek to both reduce spending and create jobs. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad recently introduced legislation to replace the state's existing economic development agency with a public-private partnership. Meanwhile, his budget eliminates the Iowa Power Fund, established by the legislature in 2007 to invest in private sector renewable and alternative energy industries. In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick recommends $10 million to continue state support for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, but also plans to collect $25 million from the state's quasi-public agencies and defer $5 million in tax credits slated for life science companies to help fill a projected deficit totaling up to $2.5 billion.

Tech Talkin' Govs, Part IV

The fourth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and Vermont. The first three installments are available in the Jan. 5, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 issues of the Digest.

University-Based Research Initiatives Face Severe Reductions in Georgia Budget

Funding for university-based research initiatives would be cut significantly under Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed FY12 budget as the governor aims to close a projected deficit of nearly $1 billion. The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), a nationally recognized model for creating and sustaining tech-based economies, would receive $4.5 million in FY12, a 75 percent reduction from the current year. The governor's budget also would transfer GRA funds to the Department of Economic Development, a move that would align TBED with the state's more traditional economic development efforts.


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