ssti features

Around the World in TBED

In the face of the spiraling unemployment in Greece and Spain, the European Union (EU) received encouraging news regarding the economic recovery of firms across its 27-member states. According to the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, European firms reported increased R&D investment (8.9 percent nominal growth), sales (4.9 percent nominal growth) and profits (3.5 percent nominal growth) for the second straight year in 2011. The 8.9 percent growth in R&D investments by European firms puts them above world average and similar than that of U.S. firms (9.0 percent). However, U.S.-based firms continue to perform better than EU-based firms in terms of sales growth (12.3 percent for U.S. firms versus 4.9 percent for EU firms) and profits growth (12.4 percent for U.S. firms versus 3.5 percent for EU firms). These numbers are particularly encouraging for the EU only two years after reporting negative growth in Industrial R&D investment in 2008 and a continuation of adverse market conditions and uncertainties due to the persistent effects of the crisis including the potential collapse of the Spanish and Greek economies.

SEC Forum to Discuss Potential Regulations on Equity Crowdfunding and Other Trends

On November 15, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will host the "SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation," an annual forum focused on the capital formation concerns of small business. This year's agenda will focus on the implementation of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), specifically equity-based crowdfunding regulation. The forum also will look at issues related to capital for small business that were not addressed by the JOBS Act.

More State Governments To Align Along Party Lines Following 2012 Elections

Earlier this week, 11 U.S. states (and Puerto Rico) held gubernatorial elections, and 44 states held elections for at least one house of their state legislative body. As a result, five states elected new governors, as did Puerto Rico. Partisan control of state legislatures changed in nine states. The results indicate a growing trend toward state governments unified under a single political party. Only 12 states now have divided state governments, in which one party controls the governorship and the other party controls at least one house in the legislature, according to the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL). Before the election, a total of 20 state governments were split. NCSL notes that this is the lowest number of split state governments since 1952.

Big Data: The Next Big Thing in Economic Development?

In 2012, Big Data has become one of the hottest topics in the news and the minds of both government and business leaders. Big Data is the collection and analysis of data that is too big, growing too fast or is too complex for existing information technology systems to handle. Proponents believe that Big Data provides business, government and other organizations (e.g., nonprofit and social enterprises) the potential to generate high quality insight that enable better decision making, increase productivity, reduce inefficiencies, create new products and services and spur economic growth. In an OPED for, Jonathan Feldman contends existing Big Data projects already are creating social and economic value for business firms and regions, including now-ubiquitous projects such as Google Maps.

Kansas City Collaboration To Help Region Compete in Healthcare Contract Research

The Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) has launched a collaborative partnership of more than 90 contract research organizations (CROs) to help the region compete in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. BioResearch Central will help promote the Greater Kansas City region as a destination for pharmaceutical R&D at a time when drug companies are increasingly looking overseas for their contract research needs. The announcement follows the release of a KBA commissioned study that suggests pharmaceutical contract research is a $90-$105 billion industry in the U.S., much larger than previous estimates.

Senate Continues Debate Over SBIR Reauthorization

With the Senate in recess, debate over SBIR/STTR reauthorization has been temporarily put on hold for the week. The reauthorization act has landed at the center of a larger congressional debate over federal spending, due to the more than 80 amendments that have been submitted for consideration. Most of these amendments propose spending cuts unrelated to SBIR. The main text of the bill would extend the SBIR and STTR programs through 2019 and increase award levels for Phase I and Phase II awards. It would also allow companies that are majority-owned by venture capital firms to receive some awards.

Recent Research: Which Cities Are Poised to Generate New Discoveries?

Metropolitan areas with population densities of about 4,000 people per square mile tend to produce the highest rate of patenting, according to a recent article in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. In a study of U.S. metro areas over a ten-year period, the authors found that metro population density has a significant positive correlation with patenting rates. At about 4,000 people per square mile, the benefits of agglomeration, such as knowledge spillovers and diverse labor pools, are at their highest, compared to negative effects of congestion, such as increasing costs of real estate and other scarce resources. Few U.S. cities, however, approach this level of population density. The authors advise against taking the averaged optimal density level as a basis for policy, but use their data to suggest that cities play a vital role in the innovation economy and that increasing urban density could lead to higher innovation rates in some U.S. urban areas.

NY Governor Wants to Create Regional Councils, Consolidate NYSTAR

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to direct $200 million in existing funds to establish 10 regional economic development councils to allocate funds and provide business assistance programs across the state. At the same time, the governor would consolidate programs supporting high-tech companies currently administered by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) with the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) — a move he says will eliminate duplicative functions and save the state $1.9 million in the coming year.


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