SSTI members host regional entrepreneurship policy meetings

Five SSTI member organizations — Conductor, Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Louisville, University of South Alabama, and Verge — were awarded micro grants by SSTI to host policy meetings with state and local officials in their regions about the needs of innovation-driven entrepreneurs. The awards were made possible thanks to a project with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In total, the seven meetings held by these groups connected dozens of entrepreneurs and support organizations with federal, state and local elected officials, program administrators and staff.

SSTI has grown! Meet our new staff

SSTI is excited to announce staffing changes that are helping us build on our mission to strengthen initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the past few months, SSTI has added five new staff members — Casey Nemecek, Jerry Coughter, Jonathan Dillon, Lisa Clayton and Sobia Saied — strengthened our student interns/assistants program, and promoted Mark Skinner to executive vice president and Jason Rittenberg to vice president.

SSTI receives EDA award to launch Tech-based Economic Development Community of Practice focused on EDA grantees

SSTI is pleased to announce a new project with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build a Community of Practice focused on EDA’s important technology-based economic development (TBED) investment priority area. This new partnership will help regions across the entire country become more resilient, more equitable, and more competitive in the global innovation-centered economy.

SBIR at 40 – What’s Next?

During the SBIR/STTR Spring Innovation Conference, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted a keynote session titled, “SBIR at 40 – What’s Next?” Panelists, moderated by SBA’s Erick Page-Littleford, discussed the impact that the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have had over their 40 years of existence, and what the future may hold.

SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council publishes priorities for competitiveness legislation

Today, SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council published a letter to Congress urging the adoption of key tech-based economic development policies in the final version of competitiveness legislation that will soon be conferenced between the two chambers. Known as the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA) in the Senate and the America COMPETES Act of 2022 in the House, these bills are proposing to authorize new activities to support science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship across numerous federal agencies. The Council has been talking with offices across the Hill about these proposals throughout the session and will continue to do so as the bill moves to conference.

SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council talks appropriations with Congress

As Congress has been finalizing the FY 2022 budget, SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council spent the week meeting with offices to discuss FY 2023 appropriations, which will begin ramping up over the coming weeks. The Council’s funding priorities for the year are increased support for the Economic Development Administration’s Build to Scale program and the Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Clusters and Federal & State Technology Partnership (FAST) programs.

SSTI, 100+ organizations ask Congress to reauthorize SBIR/STTR

SSTI and the Small Business Technology Council circulated a letter to Congress calling for reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The letter has been signed by more than 100 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Angel Capital Association, Association of University Research Parks and dozens of SSTI members. Without congressional action, the programs will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

SSTI members share success from apprenticeships and other programs

A job market that was struck an unprecedented blow with the pandemic became the focus of a recovery built on better jobs, not simply maintaining the status quo. And for workers across the country, myriad programs exist, or are being developed, to help them upskill or reskill as they seek new opportunities and adjust to changing demands of the labor market. Even as National Apprenticeship Week is underway this week, change is evident as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking public comment on its proposal to rescind Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs), which it says would allow the department to direct its resources toward expanding access to good-paying jobs through the Registered Apprenticeship program and create reliable pathways to middle class.

Building blocks of regional innovation economies explored; SSTI gives testimony in support of national effort

Outlining the need for a new national effort to build regional innovation economies, a panel of experts gave testimony to the Research and Technology subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI). The panel focused on how regions have developed their innovation economies and how those experiences could be replicated across the country with federal support. SSTI President and CEO Dan Berglund's testimony drew from SSTI members’ experience and his more than 35 years in the field to make the case that a robust federal response was required with a national strategy and federal funding to support state and local organizations as they develop regional innovation economies. The hearing comes as the U.S. Senate approved a regional technology hubs program, as part of the Endless Frontiers Act, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support this week (see related story).

SSTI paper on capital access, SSBCI 2.0

SSTI is making Addressing Capital Access in 2021, which had previously been available only to SSTI member organizations, publicly available. The paper is focused on helping states and their partners make the most of the opportunity presented by the newly-refunded State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0), which provides $10 billion to states to support capital access. Topics covered include a review of SSBCI 1.0, the current landscape for debt and investment access, and recommendations for states developing programs in 2021.


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