metros

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D Performance by Metro and Field

Taking a deeper dive into R&D expenditures at U.S. institutions of higher education, this week’s edition of Useful Stats examines the fields in which this R&D was performed at the metropolitan level in 2018. Expanding on a previous SSTI report showing that R&D activity at universities and colleges is clustered heavily on the coasts, this analysis uses the NSF’s Higher Education R&D (HERD) data on the research expenditures at individual institutions to determine how this funding is distributed among the various fields of study, with life sciences outpacing all other fields.

As shown in the map below, HERD expenditures in the life sciences (primarily the biological, biomedical, and health sciences) accounted for the vast majority of all higher education R&D activity in the U.S. — accounting for 57.8 percent ($45.8 billion) of the total performed in 2018. Engineering R&D was a distant second, accounting for 15.6 of the total.

Useful Stats: Higher Education R&D Performance by Metro, 2009-2018

This week’s edition of Useful Stats covers Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) expenditures at the metropolitan level, pulling from the recent NSF updates to its HERD performance data. High levels of college and university R&D activity is not surprisingly clustered heavily in the East Coast — ranging from the District of Columbia up to Boston — and on the West Coast in California. The 10-year average HERD expenditures were the greatest in the New York-Northern New Jersey metro area ($3.7 billion), Boston ($2.8 billion), Baltimore ($2.8 billion), Los Angeles ($2.6 billion), and Houston ($2.0 billion). These five metro areas account for nearly 21 percent of the nation’s total 10-year average R&D spending by universities and colleges. Of the 209 metro areas included in this analysis — and excluding nonmetropolitan areas — the top 15 metros account for approximately 45 percent of the 10-year average of total HERD expenditures.

Useful Stats: NIH awards by metro, 2014-2018

Home to the Research Triangle Park and top-tier research universities like Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area led all regions in per capita NIH funding in FY 2018 and placed sixth in total funding that year, according to a new analysis by SSTI. This edition of Useful Stats looks at all NIH awards at the regional level over the five-year period between FY 2014 and FY 2018. Boston led all regions in total NIH funding in FY 2018, while NIH funding in the Washington, D.C., region increased by the greatest percentage over the five-year period among major metropolitan areas.

NLC announces ‘Call to Action’ with commitments to innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM

The National League of Cities is asking local public, private, and civic leaders to make new, measurable, and impactful commitments to increasing the adoption of technology, improving the climate for entrepreneurship, and expanding youth and adult opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the local level. By making a commitment, NLC invites cities to take part in its City Innovation Ecosystems program, which seeks to help local leaders achieve their goals by marketing and branding best practices, providing technical assistance, promoting peer learnings, and connecting cities to national private and philanthropic partners. NLC will highlight accepted commitments at its City Summit in Los Angeles from November 7-10.

Cities are refocusing economic development efforts, NLC report

Economic development was the most prevalent policy issue across mayoral speeches in 2018, according to State of the Cities 2018 from the National League of Cities (NLC). This is the fifth straight year that economic development issues were are the forefront of mayoral speeches with NLC reporting 58 percent of  state of cities speeches including “significant coverage of economic development issues.” However, this year marked a shift from mayors focusing their speeches on job creation and business attraction strategies in previous years to primarily focusing on driving downtown development, supporting innovation, and enhancing local art scenes. For those mayors that did discuss job creation, the speeches focused primarily on developing more inclusive strategies that create equitable access to economic opportunities for all members of their respective communities.

Useful Stats: SBIR/STTR awards by metro (2013-2017)

Last week, SSTI examined the geography of “America’s Seed Fund,” the SBIR/STTR awards, on a state-by-state basis. A look at how the more than 25,500 awards were distributed at the regional level over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017 yields additional insight. The metropolitan areas with the largest concentrations of SBIR/STTR awards include knowledge hubs with large universities and access to federal R&D, such as Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

Useful Stats: “Eds and Meds” employment by metropolitan area

As explored in last week’s Digest, the presence of Eds and Meds institutions can positively influence the levels of human capital in a region, but the need to keep costs low can hinder their overall growth. SSTI’s analysis subsequently found that employment in Eds and Meds industries increased in every state from 2005 to 2015. This article looks at Eds and Meds employment for the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Mid-sized regions in the Northeast like Rochester, New York (4.4 percentage points), New Haven, Connecticut (2.9 percentage points), and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2.3 percentage points) experienced the largest growth in per-capita employment in Eds and Meds industries between 2010 and 2015.

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.

NSF Announces New Funding for Smart & Connected Communities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking preliminary proposals for $18.5 million in funding to support the Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) program. The NSF expects to make 18–29 awards in the following four categories:

Useful Stats: Gross Metropolitan Product Per Capita, 2010-2015

Between 2010 and 2015, the vast majority of metro areas experienced growth in gross metropolitan product (GMP), led by energy-intensive regions such as Odessa, TX, and Bismarck, ND, according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The Elkhart, IN, and San Jose, CA, metropolitan areas experienced the largest increase in GMP per capita over the same period.

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