federal agency

Federally funded R&D centers increase R&D expenditures by billions

The United States' 42 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) received a record $26 billion in federal government funding in fiscal year 2022 — a nearly 6% increase compared to the previous year. FFRDCs expended $26.5 billion on R&D in FY 2022, marking the ninth consecutive year of nominal growth. On average, FFRDCs have increased R&D expenditures by 1.3% per annum since 2012. Yet when looking at only the three most recent years of available data, from FY 2020-2022, this average drops to just 0.4%.

MEP national network FY 2022 impacts include more than 116,000 retained or created jobs, $18.8B in new or retained sales

The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a national public-private partnership initiative within the US. Department of Commerce dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers through 51 state centers, including Puerto Rico, recently released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Client Impacts data following a survey of more than 9,000 manufacturing-related clients and businesses.  The MEP network reported assisting U.S. manufacturers in achieving the following: creating or retaining over 116,700 jobs; saving $2.5 billion in costs; generating $18.8 billion in new or retained sales; and, producing $6.4 billion in new client investments.

Pitch to secure ARPA-H headquarters location begins

With a $1 billion investment over the next three years, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) will be a standalone agency within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is designed to produce quicker research outcomes. Published reports indicate multiple states are currently positioning themselves to host the headquarters of the new agency, with California, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, having stated their interest in hosting the new headquarters.

NSF announces Tech Directorate

Following President Joe Biden’s signing of the FY 2022 budget, yesterday the National Science Foundation announced the formation of the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate that was approved in the bill. According to a statement released by NSF, the goals of this directorate will be to advance critical, emerging technologies, accelerate tech translation, and diversify the U.S. STEM workforce. TIP will leverage a suite of relocated and new programs to advance this mission.

Biden reveals $1.75T framework for Build Back Better agenda

President Joe Biden this morning delayed his planned departure for Europe to announce a framework for the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion plan that the president said he was confident could pass both houses of Congress. While the Build Back Better Framework is not as large as initially proposed, the White House says it represents the largest effort to date to combat climate change, promises to create millions of good-paying jobs, spur long-term growth and meet clean energy ambitions. The plan includes $40 billion for higher ed and workforce by raising the maximum Pell Grant and providing support to Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Minority Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. It also would invest in workforce development, including community college workforce programs, sector-based training, and apprenticeships. There is another $90 billion targeted for equity and other investments, but it is unclear as of this writing if that would include some of the innovation initiatives that were outlined earlier.

House outlines multi-billion-dollar investment in science, innovation (updated)

Editor’s note, Sept. 16: This article has been updated to include additional science- and innovation-related funding proposals announced as the House continues its work on the reconciliation bill.

Committees have marked up their drafts for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, and the proposals include multiple, significant investments that could strengthen regional innovation economies. This article identifies more than $85 billion in potential innovation-focused spending without including much of the legislation’s potential R&D investments. Among the latest items are an additional $4 billion for Regional Technology Hubs and a manufacturing-focused $1 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. These add to the previously-announced $5 billion for Regional Technology Hubs, nearly $3 billion to support incubators and accelerators, and dramatic increases in tuition support for higher education. Further action is required in the House and Senate before final funding is approved.

DoD and Commerce seeking comments on supply chain rules

The Department of Defense is seeking comments and information on President Biden’s Executive Order, “America’s Supply Chains,” which directs several federal agency actions to secure and strengthen the country’s supply chains. The U.S. Department of Commerce is also seeking public input on a licensing or other pre-clearance process for entities engaging in certain information and communications technology and services transactions (ICTS Transactions).

Key Biden nominees have background in economic development initiatives

President Joe Biden’s nominees to economic and energy roles have experience with regional growth initiatives. Readers of the Digest may be familiar with some of the names, as we have covered their activities in their previous roles. The nominees of the president’s economic team include former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, nominated to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Don Graves as deputy secretary; Isabel Guzman nominated to become administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA); former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for secretary of energy; and, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who also previously served as the agriculture secretary, to again lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Biden names science advisor, makes position cabinet level

President Joe Biden has named geneticist Eric Lander the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the president’s science advisor. Biden also promoted the science advisor role to a cabinet-level position, becoming the first president to do so, stating that, “science will always be at the forefront of my administration.”

Venture CDFIs triple in two years; advice from SSTI members on pursuing this approach

The federal Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund released a new report profiling certified CDFIs in FY 2019. Notably, 14 active CDFIs are certified as venture funds, an increase from just four in FY 2017. Between the periods covered by these reports, the CDFI Fund updated their certification process and received encouragement from SSTI and members to be more open to equity financial structures. The results suggest that this change has taken place. An overview of the CDFI program with insights from members who have recently received funding follows.


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