policy recommendations

Declining innovation funding threatens future economy

Two recent reports highlight the importance of funding innovation in the U.S., and give a glimpse into the perils of ignoring it. The reports, from The Aspen Institute and Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), independently corroborate the role of the public sector in ensuring a more prosperous future through innovation.

Future of work and shared prosperity hinge on policies, efforts

If Americans are going to build better careers and share prosperity as technological changes occur, the U.S. will have to implement more comprehensive policies, according to an MIT task force’s preliminary report titled The Work of the Future: Shaping Technology and Institutions. The task force, convened in spring 2018, was motivated by the paradox that despite a decade of low unemployment and rising prosperity in the U.S., there is a pessimism surrounding technology and work, which it says is “a reflection of a decades-long disconnect between rising productivity and stagnant incomes for the majority of workers.”

SSTI letter to Senate supporting SBA innovation programs

As covered in the last Weekly Digest, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on reauthorizing SBA’s innovation programs. SSTI was invited to add to the hearing’s record, and our letter supporting SBIR/STTR pilot programs, FAST and entrepreneurial development programs is produced, below.

Report highlights grassroots strategies for shared prosperity and inclusive job growth

In an effort to inform grassroots economic development in rural communities and small- and mid-sized cities, a new report from the Upjohn Institute identifies collaborative strategies that do not necessarily rely on government funding or philanthropic gifts. The report, Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All, is based on findings from Upjohn’s Promise: Investing in Community initiative, which focuses on place-based scholarships, local labor market issues, and economic development policy.

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.

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.

US Dept. of Ed rethinking higher education

A rulemaking committee, convened by the U.S. Department of Education, has begun work to rethink higher education and is considering ways to refine and streamline the accreditor recognition process and role, while also reviewing regulatory areas affecting innovation in higher education.

NIST recommends improvements for federal tech transfer, seeks comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a paper making recommendations to improve federal technology transfer. Recommendations are organized around five topics: regulation and administration, private-sector engagement, R&D workforce, tech transfer tools, and metrics and benchmarks. These recommendations — and the responses they generate — are expected to lead to regulatory and legislative proposals over the course of the next two years.

APLU issues imperatives to improve economic development effectiveness

Recognizing that the global economic and science and engineering landscape is changing rapidly, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) yesterday issued a position paper in an effort to bring together universities and their federal partners and respond to the economic and community development needs of the nation.

Focus on workforce reflected in federal action

In an executive order issued last month, President Trump wrote that the nation is facing a skills crisis. In response, and in order to develop “a national strategy to ensure that America’s students and workers have access to affordable, relevant, and innovative education and job training that will equip them to compete and win in the global economy,” the president established a National Council for the American Worker.

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