information technology

Analysis finds software accounts for nearly one-third of business R&D, up 60 percent over 10-years

Software plays an increasingly large role in private sector research and development (R&D) expenditures, according to new research from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Based on a recent change in how the BEA treats software R&D in its calculations for gross domestic product (GDP) and other metrics, the analysis finds that the share of business R&D coming from software increased from 20 percent in 2006 to 32 percent in 2016, a 60 percent increase. The authors also look at longer-term trends in business R&D expenditures on software, as well as an analysis of software R&D in manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.

High-growth firms concentrate in larger metros, around talent

New research from Ian Hathaway of the Center for American Entrepreneurship confirms a common theory in economic development circles: that high-growth firms are predominantly found in large and mid-sized cities with high densities of talented workers and a culture of entrepreneurship. Hathaway’s research uses data from Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 lists for each year from 2011 to 2017, with a focus on the 14,000 unique companies from the lists that meet the OECD definition of high-growth – annualized revenue growth of 20 percent or more each year during a three-year period.

Unfairness, mistreatment largest contributors to employee turnover in tech industry

Unfair treatment is the largest driver of employee turnover in the tech industry, according to a new report by authors at the Kapor Center for Social Impact with support from the Ford Foundation. In the 2017 Tech Leavers Study, the authors surveyed a national sample of 2,000 adults who in the past three years have voluntarily left a job in a technology-related industry. They find that unfairness or mistreatment in the work environment was the most frequently cited reason for leaving (37 percent), especially for professionals from underrepresented populations (e.g., women, black, Latinx, and Native American). Additional reasons for leaving a previous employer include seeking better opportunities (35 percent), dissatisfaction with the work environment (25 percent), dissatisfaction with job duties (22 percent), and being recruited away (19 percent). The authors estimate that mistreatment-based turnover in the industry costs approximately $16 billion per year. To help address this issue, the authors recommend comprehensive diversity and inclusion initiatives that include five elements: having a diversity and/or inclusion director; explicitly setting diversity goals; providing bonuses for coworkers that refer candidates from underrepresented backgrounds; conducting training on unconscious biases; and, establishing employee resource groups. 

White House: Benefits, inevitability of AI may outweigh potential risks

Artificial intelligence and automation technologies have the potential to alter millions of jobs, yet the positive benefits associated with increased productivity are worth pursuing, according to a December 2016 White House report. The authors – which include staff from the Council of Economic Advisers, Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy – suggest that responding to the economic effects of this technology will be an important consideration for the next administration, and as a result, policymakers should be prepared for a wide variety of outcomes. Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy is a follow up to the White House’s October 2016 report Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence.

Available Now! Making the Most of TBED IT Investments

Last summer, SSTI and JumpStart Inc. conducted a survey of tech-based economic development (TBED) organizations on how groups use and invest in information technology tools. The goal of this survey was to gather a greater understanding of the basic challenges TBED organizations face with regard to information technology, as well as their self-identified strategic goals and whether they believe their IT spending priorities are helping them achieve these goals. Professionals from nearly 250 organizations, including universities, incubators, accelerators and economic development organizations took the survey, and the results are now available in the form of a whitepaper.

U.S. Sources Funded More Than 80% of Worldwide Industrial R&D in 2011

U.S. companies performed over $294 billion in research and development (R&D) in 2011, according to the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) – a business survey conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation. Companies funded an overwhelming majority of the industrial R&D conducted in the U.S. (81.2 percent, approximately $238.8 billion). Approximately $55.3 million of industrial R&D (18.8 percent) was funded by other sources, predominately from the federal government ($31.3 billion). U.S. industrial R&D spending accounted for approximately 81 percent of worldwide R&D performance – $363.3 billion in total industrial R&D in 2011. 

White House Announces Commitments to Computer Science Education

This week marks 2014 Computer Science Education Week, the Obama administration’s call to the education, business, foundational, and nonprofit communities to help support and expand access to computer science education in American schools. On Monday, the administration announced several commitments aimed at providing millions of additional students with computer since education, including:

Oregon Reigns as Most ICT-Focused State Economy, According to Report

Oregon derived about 28 percent of its GDP from information and communication technology (ICT) industries in 2012, according to a new report from the Technology CEO Council, based on Moody’s Analytics data.  The report highlights the importance of ICT exports to each state economy. ICT hardware, software and services were the largest U.S. export sector in 2012, generating $272 billion for the U.S. economy. Oregon, Colorado and Washington were the country’s most ICT-focused economies in terms of GDP, while Virginia employed the largest share of its workers in ICT industries. Read the report…

Web-based Platform Connects Manufacturers with Technology Expertise in NY

Manufacturers often struggle with overcoming hurdles to growth, such as implementing new technologies and processes that will streamline operations. A new web-based platform launched in New York aims to address these challenges by connecting small- and medium-sized manufacturing businesses with statewide technology resources and expertise, including industry experts from the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership, universities and private sector businesses. The initiative, called FuzeHub, allows companies to submit requests for assistance to a team of technical and manufacturing professionals with a quick turn-around time of 48 hours. Customer and market development, supply chain development, technology sourcing and technology transfer are some of the services offered. Read the announcement...

Governments Benefiting from Tech Entrepreneurs: The Tables Have Turned

The field of technology-based economic development strives to provide opportunities and support for budding entrepreneurs and technology-based startups in hopes of strengthening our economies. But, policymakers and governments have much to gain directly from the pool of talented tech entrepreneurs. Technology startups are tapping into the $142 billion public sector market and are helping governments reduce costs and improve their services through innovative web applications and, in some cases, total system overhauls.  Late last week, the city of San Francisco launched an Entrepreneurship-In-Residence program for the city in partnership with the White House, the first of its kind.


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