economic development

SSTI partners with NSF to bring you latest in funding, entrepreneurial support

We are excited to be partnering with NSF during SSTI’s Annual Conference, Sept.9 through 11 in Providence, Rhode Island, to bring you the latest information and ideas on SBIR/STTR and university/industry partnerships.

What are mayors talking about? NLC explores top trending topics

The National League of Cities (NLC) recently released its sixth State of the Cities report, an analysis of the year’s state of the city speeches. It identifies and examines the top 10 issues that mayors are discussing and provides analyses on regional and subtopic trends.

Focus on inclusive ecosystems to build entrepreneurship and growth

A new report from the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Opportunity HUB (OHUB) reveals the importance of building an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem. Authored by Dell Gines of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Rodney Sampson, chairman and chief executive officer of Opportunity Hub, the report examines how entrepreneurship ecosystem building has lacked an emphasis on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

States making progress in evaluating tax incentives; new tool explores costs and benefits

A recent article from Pew Charitable Trusts shows how routine evaluations can help states make tangible improvements to their tax incentives. According to Pew, 30 states now have laws requiring evaluation of the incentives, and recent examinations in several states included key components that helped to inform the results. When analyses started with an effort to determine the specific goals of each incentive, their effectiveness was more easily determined.

Ideas for expanding economic opportunity focus of Aspen report

Shifts in the American economy have resulted in a myriad of challenges including workers without the necessary skills for today’s jobs, lack of wage increases for low- and middle-income worker and a shrinking labor force participation rate. With an aim of identifying bipartisan policy solutions to such challenges, the Aspen Economic Strategy Group (AESG) spent a year collecting ideas to address these challenges and have released their findings in a new report. While the authors of the report caution that there is no silver bullet solution to the challenges outlined in the report, they go on to say, “Evidence-based, bipartisan solutions rarely capture headlines, but they do exist, and should be embraced by those who are serious about solving our long-term economic challenges.” The report outlines several proposed solutions.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2019, part 1: Governors unveil broadband, workforce, and research proposals to build economies

With 36 governors being sworn in following the November elections, 20 of those being new faces and 16 who were re-elected, this year’s inaugural and state of the state addresses promise new ideas along with proposed resolutions to existing challenges. As the governors present their plans to constituents, SSTI revisits our Tech Talkin’ Govs series.

How public policy supports advanced manufacturing

For those interested in how innovation, investment, programs, and policies can help make manufacturing an economic boon to states and regions across the nation, a new special issue of the Economic Development Quarterly may offer some answers. Featuring original research and book reviews from experts around the country, Strengthening Manufacturing – How Research Can Inform Public Policy is an important read for scholars and practitioners of economic development. The introduction to the special issue, written by Ken Poole and Brendan Buff of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), is available online at no cost. A future Digest story will highlight some of the articles featured in the issue and discuss what their findings mean for technology-based economic development more broadly.

ARC announces $26.5M in POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced its latest round of grants for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER). The 35 grants totaling $26.5 million support workforce training and education in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and other industry sectors; invest in infrastructure enhancements to continue developing the region's tourism, entrepreneurial, and agriculture sectors; and, increase access to community-based capital, including impact-investing funds, venture capital, and angel investment streams. The awards are projected to create or retain over 5,400 jobs and leverage more than $193 million in private investment into 59 Appalachian counties.

A few of the awards (with SSTI members in boldface) are highlighted here:

Educational attainment helps drive community prosperity

Despite an uneven economic recovery, fewer Americans are living in distressed communities and more are living in prosperous ones, according to a recent report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy organization. Comprised of seven factors measuring socioeconomic health, the Distressed Community Index (DCI) divides the country’s zip codes (communities) into five quintiles — prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at-risk, and distressed — and tells the story of the country’s economic health across two time periods, the recession years of 2007 to 2011 and the recovery years of 2012 to 2016. EIG finds that the employment and business establishment growth during the economic recovery has been mostly limited to prosperous communities, where the population tends to be more educated and the housing vacancy rate may be lower.

Driving regional innovation with smaller institutions: SSTI Conference preview

This month, we begin a four-part series focused on navigating innovation priorities in a variety of settings. The series features perspectives from experts in the field, presented in a Q&A format. Each practitioner we interviewed will also be presenting at our annual conference, where these topics will be explored in greater depth. Click here for more information on the conference.

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