Who is winning the global technological competition?

Western democracies are losing the race for scientific and research breakthroughs, and the ability to retain global talent, integral ingredients in developing technologies, according to a recent report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In the project funded by the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center and a grant from The Special Competitive Studies Project, ASPI says that their research reveals that “China has built the foundations to position itself as the world’s leading science and technology superpower, by establishing a sometimes stunning lead in high-impact research across the majority of critical and emerging technology domains.”

Maryland moving on innovation initiatives to grow state economy

In his budget proposal, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore proposed $10 million in funding for a new program that would provide grants of up to $2 million to defray specified costs associated with an eligible innovation infrastructure project; the projects are intended to support innovation in eligible technology sectors including advanced manufacturing; aerospace; agriculture; artificial intelligence; biotechnology; blue technology; cybersecurity; defense; energy and sustainability; life sciences; quantum; and sensor and robotics. The governor also proposed $1 million in new funding for the creation of the Maryland Equitech Growth Fund, which would use multiple investment vehicles including direct investments, grants, and loans leveraged with private capital to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and to meet the goals of promoting equitable economic development in Maryland’s advanced technology sectors.

EDA seeks feedback on program design for Tech Hubs

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hubs) program. The RFI will help the agency gather information from stakeholders to inform the design and administration of Tech Hubs designation, planning, and implementation awards.

State Department creates new office to address rising innovations in technology

The U.S. Department of State established a new office intended to develop and coordinate critical and emerging technology foreign policy, including biotechnology, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum information technologies.  The Office of the Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology began operations Jan. 3. The office will offer policy expertise in technology, diplomatic leadership, and strategic direction for the department.

New National Defense Strategy stresses investing in emerging technologies

The 2022 National Defense Strategy, released last week, emphasizes the need to accelerate the Pentagon’s capacity for buying and deploying emerging technologies. Technology sectors called out as targets include advanced materials, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, clean energy, directed energy, hypersonics, microelectronics, quantum science and space. The report indicates that the Department of Defense (DOD) is considering R&D funding, ecosystem support and adapting civilian technologies among the tools it will use to pursue emerging tech.

New report examines impact of tech in Chicago economy

Chicago has seen 18 percent growth in its technology ecosystem (i.e. technology occupations in technology industries, non-technology occupations in technology industries, and technology occupations in non-technology industries) in the last decade compared to a 1 percent growth in the overall economy, according to the Chicago Tech Effect report from Chicagoland Chamber of Congress and HR&A Advisors. The report might serve as a model for other areas examining the importance of technology in their region’s economy. Chicago’s tech ecosystem employs over 8 percent of the city’s workforce and accounted for 87 percent of new jobs in the area within the last decade, according to the report. “Chicago is fueling upward mobility and greater economic equality,” according to the report, with the median wage in the tech ecosystem 1.5 times higher than the median wage for the overall economy. Further, about 50 percent of tech jobs in Chicago are considered nontraditional (i.e. non-technology occupations in technology industries), which allows a greater number of individuals to participate in the field.  

U.S. knowledge- and technology-intensive industries added value even during pandemic downturn

A recent National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators report on the knowledge- and technology-intensive (KTI) industries analyzed production, trade and enabling technologies of KTI industries and found that KTI industries contributed 11 percent to both U.S. GDP ($2.3 trillion) and global GDP ($9.2 trillion) in 2019. Even though overall U.S. GDP declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, the value added generated by domestic KTI industries increased by 2.2 percent in 2019–20 as industries responded to a surge in demand led by increases in output of industries supporting remote work transitions and supplying medical products, while manufacturing of chemicals, transportation equipment and machinery declined. 

NIST seeks information to bolster US innovation and industrial competitiveness in emerging tech areas

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a Request for Information (RFI) to help guide the development of eight emerging technologies. NIST will use the information to inform a study it will provide Congress with a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s emerging technology sector including information on relevant marketplaces; supply chains; future investment, legislative, policy and standards needs; and, strategic public-private partnerships to enhance the nationwide adoption of technology development and utilization.

Dept. of Energy tech licenses now subject to expanded domestic manufacturing requirements

Technologies that are developed from the Department of Energy’s R&D are now required to be substantially manufactured in America. The requirement was developed in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order that all agencies review their policies related to supply chain vulnerabilities. The rule change takes the domestic manufacturing preference that is in place currently only for exclusive licenses for products sold/used in the U.S. and applies it by default to all Energy licenses from Oct. 1 on.

White House announces Equity in Science and Technology Ideation Challenge

The White House is seeking public input to help remove barriers to equity in the science and technology ecosystem. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched the Time is Now: Advancing Equity in Science and Technology Ideation Challenge that asks for ideas from the public in answering a central question: “How can we guarantee all Americans can fully participate in, and contribute to, science and technology?” OSTP is asking for ideas and examples of successful programs to help advance equitable science and technology and to contribute to America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century.


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