innovation

Top questions to ask when planning an innovation district

Innovation districts show promise as an economic development tool, but there are a range of questions policymakers, practitioners and planners should consider prior to and while pursuing the strategy, according to new research from RTI International’s Center for Applied Economics and Strategy.

Benchmark report reveals threats to US science, tech leadership

While the U.S. continues to lead the world in science, technology and innovation, other nations are on track to catch and surpass the lead the country currently holds, according to a new report from the Task Force on American Innovation (TFIA). In Second Place America? Increasing Challenges to U.S. Scientific Leadership, TFIA, a non-partisan alliance of leading American companies and business associations, research university associations, and scientific societies, benchmarks the U.S.

Roadmap provided for university research and tech commercialization

As a bedrock of American innovation, universities and federal laboratories research and develop new products that help drive economic growth. A new study from the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan aims to improve national competitiveness in this arena by providing a roadmap for universities that includes best practices on translating research from the lab to the marketplace.

Report finds opportunities for states, locals to advance clean energy innovation

A recent report by Breakthrough Energy, co-chaired by former Energy secretary Ernest Moniz, calls for a better policy approach to supporting clean energy. Their premise is that America has led the way in this industry, but that the way forward requires innovation on a greater scale than we have achieved before, and that this, in turn, requires better coordination of systems.

Recent Research: Exposure to innovation more important than financial incentives in increasing the number of inventors, researchers find

Recent research revealed that exposure to innovation (e.g., mentorship program and immersive K-12 STEM education experience) during childhood and young adulthood has a greater effect on the decision to pursue careers in innovation than financial incentives. Researchers Alexander M. Bell, Raj Chetty, and their co-authors developed a model to analyze the impact of several factors on inventor career choices.

SSTI Feature: Epicenter Memphis seeking big impact in regional innovation network

A note from the publisher (aka, Dan Berglund): Two of the most frequent questions SSTI staff is asked are: “What program, initiative, movement has piqued your interest?” and, “Who should we be watching and learning from?” While the answers are somewhat implied in what we cover in The Digest, host webinars on, and feature in conference content, look for occasional pieces in 2019 labeled “SSTI Feature” that offer a sampling of our answers to those questions.

New Farm Bill programs aim to cultivate rural innovation

The latest Farm Bill, expected to be signed into law Thursday, contains provisions that could provide significant new tools for rural innovations. The two greatest opportunities are the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant program, which creates an innovation cluster and strategy program for rural regions, and a change to allow the existing Community Facilities program to support incubators, makerspaces, and job training centers.

Rhode Island announces $12 million for Innovation Campus projects

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced the first three projects for the state’s Innovation Campus Program, an effort to support the commercialization of academic research in key industries such as cybersecurity, data analytics and agricultural technology. The centers, in partnership with the University of Rhode Island and located in Kingston and Providence, will receive a combined $12 million from the state. The funding stems from a $20 million innovation bond approved by the state’s voters in 2016.

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction.

Will balanced budget requirements result in state innovation cuts?

Strict balanced budget requirements, tax or expenditure limits and party control of a state legislature and governorship can influence innovation funding when states respond to deficits. As states face new political landscapes and decision makers in their legislatures, the implications of a recent study on the topic emphasize the importance of keeping innovation on a state’s agenda.

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