Detroit, Pittsburgh Boast Tech Economy Gains

Groups in the greater Detroit and Pittsburgh regions recently released reports documenting the progress these metros have made over the past few years in building thriving technology economies. Detroit’s Automation Alley found that tech industry employment in the region grew by 15 percent in 2011, outpacing growth in all of the other 14 regions used as benchmarks in the study. A report on Pittsburgh’s investment economy, conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and Innovation Works, shows the region to have grown its per capita venture capital investment levels by 34.6 percent during the 2009-2013 period.

NY Budget Advances State’s Research, High-Tech Agenda

Many of the proposals put forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for growing New York’s innovation economy were fulfilled or received ongoing support in the enacted FY15 budget. This includes a final installment of $680 million to complete the Buffalo Billion initiative, new rounds of funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils, SUNY and CUNY challenge grants, and tax breaks for manufacturers. Lawmakers also approved funding for a new genomic medicine network and STEM scholarship program.

States Pass Innovation-Focused Legislation

Investments and policy to support innovation-focused agendas have flourished with the close of the 2014 legislative sessions in several states. Crowdfunding legislation, incentives for attracting talent, higher education affordability, punishing patent trolls, and encouraging greater accountability are some of the areas where lawmakers focused their efforts.

$20M for STEM Action Center in UT Budget; More Oversight for USTAR

Increased scrutiny for public investments has grown in recent years amid tight budget conditions. Returns on innovation-focused efforts often take time, and as a result TBED groups are always looking to improve metrics and reporting to meet greater demand for transparency. In Utah, lawmakers recently passed a bill providing more oversight for the state’s signature innovation-capacity building program following a critical audit last year. At the same time, lawmakers continued to embrace the concept of the agency they established eight years prior, and appropriated level funds to continue USTAR’s efforts in research and commercialization. The legislature also passed a bill dedicating $20 million to the STEM Action Center created last session.  

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part VI

The sixth installment of SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in New Hampshire and Wyoming. Read part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V.   

Governors Prioritize Funding Toward High-Tech Facilities

Having world-class facilities to train workers or support research in fields most likely to benefit the state is a draw for many reasons. Attracting outside investment, retaining talent and generating buzz are just a few of the benefits. Last year, Connecticut lawmakers dedicated more than $2 billion to expand science and technology education on the campuses of the University of Connecticut, including construction of new STEM facilities and for build research and teaching labs. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is the latest state leader to announce funding proposals aimed at either building new facilities or making capital improvements for training students in high-wage, high-demand fields.

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part IV

The fourth installment of SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Illinois, Massachusetts and Utah. Read part I, part II and part III

FL, LA Govs Challenge Educators to Develop Top-Notch STEM Workforce

Filling the pipeline with skilled workers able to perform the high-tech jobs employers say are sitting vacant has long been advocated by state leaders and policymakers as essential to competing in the global economy. Governors in Florida and Louisiana are stepping up efforts this legislative session with proposed multi-million dollar investments through training and scholarship programs to change the landscape of their states’ workforce.

NY Budget Proposes New Genomic Medicine Network, STEM Scholarship

The FY15 budget proposal outlined last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo would provide funding to continue many of New York’s innovation-focused efforts while investing in new initiatives, including a genomic medicine network and STEM scholarship program.

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part III

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part III


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