President Commits to Raise Federal R&D Spending to 3 Percent of GDP
President Obama announced earlier this week that the U.S. would increase its investment in basic and applied research and science and mathematics education to match the historic levels reached during the height of the space race. The president pledged to raise total government and industry spending on R&D to 3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), equal to the record set in 1964. In addition to the increases in R&D spending already included in the Recovery Act, President Obama committed to finish the doubling of funds for federal science agencies and create several new programs to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Most of the components of the new R&D push were announced earlier this year. The administration remains committed to double the research budgets of the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which was launched with $400 million made available through the stimulus package, will fund the development of cutting-edge energy technologies. The president’s FY10 budget would make the federal R&D tax credit permanent to promote private investment in innovative research.
Much of the president’s announcement focused on the need to improve student achievement and participation in math and science. This fall the Department of Education’s Race to the Top fund will distribute $5 billion in awards to states making the strongest commitments to produce and keep science and math teachers. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania will coordinate an effort with the National Governors Association to encourage states to make STEM education a priority. The president also announced a partnership between the Department of Energy and NSF to encourage students to pursue STEM careers and entrepreneurship, particularly those involving clean energy.
Current U.S. R&D investment hovers around 2.6 percent of GDP, which means an additional $70 billion a year from government and industry would be required to reach the new goal. New Scientist noted that while the increase would be substantial, no timetable was provided in the president’s speech and even after the increase U.S. R&D spending would still lag behind Japan and South Korea as a share of GDP.
President Obama also used the occasion to announce the new members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The council will be co-chaired by John Holdren, who was confirmed last month as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and principal member of the Human Genome Project; and Harold Varmus, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and former head of NIH. The balance of the 20-person committee includes representatives from academia, medicine, university administration and private industry.
More information about the president’s announcement is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-A-Historic-Commitment-To-Research-And-Education/
A webcast version of the President’s address to the National Academies of Science is available at: http://www.nap.edu/obama/?utm_medium=etmail&utm_source=National%20Academies%20Press&utm_campaign=ObamaBlast&utm_content=Downloader&utm_term=return to the top of the page
Maryland Budget Agreement Continues Support for Bio 2020
The budget agreement passed by Maryland lawmakers earlier this month includes funding for several initiatives in support of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to invest more than $1 billion over ten years in Maryland’s biotechnology industry. Declining state revenues as a result of the recession were not without their impact, however.
A key component of the Bio 2020 Initiative is the state’s investment in stem cell research. To this end, lawmakers approved $15.4 million for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). This appropriation is $2.6 million less than the total funds available in FY09 and $3 million less than the governor’s recommendation. TEDCO also will receive the governor’s full recommendation of $3.7 million ($600,000 less than last year) for technology development, transfer and commercialization.
The Maryland Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit Reserve Fund received the governor’s full request of $6 million in FY10. The program encourages private investment in biotech firms by providing a 50 percent tax credit to investors.
In support of Bio 2020, $4.7 million is included for the Maryland Biotechnology Center to showcase and support biotechnology innovation and entrepreneurship for the state, and $500,000 was approved for the Nanotech Biotechnology Initiative Fund ($1 million less than last fiscal year).
Following the legislature’s $16 million higher education appropriation intended to freeze tuition for undergraduates, the Maryland Board of Regents voted last week to approve the measure that will keep tuition level for a fourth consecutive year.
The enrolled version of FY10 operating budget is available at: http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/bills/hb/hb0100e.pdf.return to the top of the page
Ohio’s Third Frontier Initiative Reports 9:1 Leverage as
Future Funds are Sought
The most recent annual report of Ohio’s Third Frontier initiative announced $3.52 billion in non-state resources has been provided for affiliated projects and companies – a nine to one ratio of state dollars leveraged. Since the Third Frontier’s creation in 2002, $893 million in state funds have been awarded, with $403 million of that amount expended to date.
The Third Frontier Initiative is a statewide effort administered by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) and is comprised of a diverse set of programs focused in areas such as research faculty recruitment, commercialization assistance, direct research funding, internship assistance, entrepreneurial development, and regional seed fund growth, among others.
The ODOD report finds the aggregate results of the initiative since its launch has led to the direct creation or retention of 7,760 jobs. With an average salary of $67,700, the job figure represents a payroll in excess of $525 million dollars injected into the state’s economy each year. By the end of 2008, 514 companies in Ohio have been created, attracted, or capitalized due to Frontier efforts, according to the report.
The current funding source for the Third Frontier initiative is winding down. Originally crafted as a $1.6 billion program using a combination of bonds, the state’s general fund, and tobacco lawsuit settlements, the Third Frontier is currently set to expire in 2012.
Gov. Strickland is reported in a Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board interview last week as being in favor of putting an extension of the TBED initiative before voters as early as this November. The governor wants to consult with the state legislature and ODOD officials first, however. Other possibilities include going to voters in 2011 or 2012 to renew or even enlarge the Third Frontier initiative.
The 2008 annual report of the Third Frontier Initiative is available at: http://www.ohiochannel.org/content_files_user/1/119193.pdfreturn to the top of the page
Successful State-Federal Lab Partnerships to be Profiled May 4-7 in Charlotte
The technologies developed at the nation’s 700 federal laboratories and research centers impact the health, energy, security, and agricultural needs of the country. They have a substantial effect on the economic growth of the U.S., especially as these technologies are commercialized. Improving efforts for commercialization from federal laboratories is a central focus of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC), as they are tasked by federal legislation to assist state and local governments and regional organizations with the transfer of technologies.
The State and Local Government Committee of the FLC highlights several productive partnerships with TBED organizations in their Federal Laboratories & State and Local Governments: Partners for Technology Transfer Success publication. Through these kinds of partnerships, organizations with an abundance of federal labs nearby or those lacking proximity to the labs can access the technologies and know-how at the labs.
In addition to the case studies, the publication contains contact information for the FLC regional coordinators across the county as well as an index of the FLC-affiliated laboratories in each state.
Federal Laboratories & State and Local Governments: Partners for Technology Transfer Success is available at: http://www.federallabs.org/pdf/State_and_Local_Govt_brochure3.pdf
The FLC also will be holding its annual conference in Charlotte next week, providing the opportunity for TBED, federal and other tech transfer professionals to gain insights into the federal tech transfer process, to network with other lab officials and tech transfer experts, and to collaborate with the labs to advance TBED goals.
Information for the FLC conference, including the detailed agenda and registration materials, is available at: http://www.federallabs.org/meeting/return to the top of the page
Pittsburgh Puts Stimulus to Work as Early-Stage Funds to Fill
As credit and early-stage investment capital become increasingly scarce, more state, regional and local governments and organizations are stepping in to help local entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground. In many cases, offering equity investments is not always an attractive option to the public organization.
Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), for example, recently announced a new low-interest loan fund to provide the early-stage capital needed to start new high-tech businesses in the midst of a troubled economic situation. The Pittsburgh Entrepreneur Fund will award up to $200,000 to high-tech entrepreneurs and companies, as well as pair awardees up with organizations that can offer guidance and technical assistance. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl noted that the program is not just for existing companies, but also is targeted toward young entrepreneurs and researchers who might otherwise take their intellectual capital elsewhere.
Low interest loans will be available for high-tech startups, particularly those involved in information technology, life science and green/energy. URA will work with local incubators to provide additional support for new and existing tenants.
The revolving loan fund has been seeded by a $1 million commitment, half from the city’s Community Development Block Grant fund and half from federal economic stimulus funding. An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests the program’s funding could double in the near future. Mayor Ravenstahl expects the fund to create more than 100 new jobs and leverage at least $3 million in private investment.
Read more about the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurship Fund at: http://www.ura.org/return to the top of the page
Federal Obligations for R&D to Industry by State, 2001-2005
The NSF’s Federal Funds for Research and Development series illustrates trends in the U.S. government’s funding obligations for science and engineering R&D. Federal funding is distributed to government agencies, academic institutions, research centers, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, as well as private companies.
SSTI has prepared a table presenting federal R&D obligations to industry in each state for the five fiscal-year period of 2001 to 2005. In FY05, $44.03 billion, or 41.2 percent of total federal R&D obligations, went to industry.
The FY05 figure for industry represents a 63.7 percent increase from FY 2001. From year to year, many states’ figures vary sharply, making trends across years harder to characterize and potentially misleading. Consequently, the SSTI table includes only the percentage of each state’s total federal R&D obligations that went to industry in 2005 and the state’s relative rank.
The states with the largest obligations to industry in 2005 were California with $9.54 billion, Virginia ($4.37 billion), Missouri ($3.34 billion), Texas ($3.28 billion), and Maryland ($2.46 billion). Industry in 14 states received in excess of $1 billion in 2005, while 19 states had less than $100 million going to their industrial research base.
The percentage among the states varies widely as well. For example, Missouri had the highest percentage of its federal obligations go to industry, at 82.6 percent. Other states with high concentrations include West Virginia (77.1 percent), Arizona (71.7 percent), Nevada (67.0 percent), and Texas (64.7 percent).
In FY 2005, North Dakota had the smallest percentage of its federal obligations (3.4 percent) going to industry. North Dakota is joined by Wyoming (6.1 percent), Nebraska (7.9 percent), Arkansas (8.0 percent), and Oregon (9.7 percent). It should be noted that these states were, for the most part, those with the lowest amounts in federal obligations for R&D from the government as well. The lion’s share of the federal obligations for R&D in these states went to universities and colleges.
As defined by the NSF, “Obligations are the amounts for orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated and when future payment of money is required.“
SSTI's table is available at: http://www.ssti.org/Digest/Tables/042909t.htm
The entire Federal Funds for Research and Development series can be accessed at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedfunds/return to the top of the page
Live Chat! Get the Answers to Your Questions About the
Excellence in TBED Awards
SSTI is hosting an informal phone call on Wednesday, May 13 at 2:00 PM EDT to answer your questions about the 2009 Excellence in TBED Awards.
Who should join the call?
Anyone considering submitting an application for the 2009 awards cycle or anyone who wants to learn more about the program will find the call useful.
What should I expect?
SSTI will present a brief overview of the program, including its mission and philosophy, followed by ample Q&A time to answer any questions regarding the application process, the entry guidelines and the evaluation criteria. We will also share some helpful hints provided by past judges.
When is the call and how do I dial-in?
The call is scheduled on Wednesday, May 13 at 2:00 EDT. You must register in advance to participate in the call, at which time you will be provided with the dial-in information. To sign up, visit: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=ptpNtZjc_WjTWYHUYeVkWHw
Dan Berglund, SSTI President and CEO, will be hosting the call. Participants are invited to submit their questions ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available at: www.sstiawards.org.return to the top of the page
Incubator RoundUp: Top Performing Incubators Named in NBIA
The role of a technology incubator or accelerator for supporting nascent firms generally is regarded with the utmost importance by the tech-based economic development community. Tech incubators provide essential resources for startup companies to develop and commercialize new technologies, leading to the creation of high-quality jobs.
With estimates suggesting there could be as many as 5,000 incubators of all shapes and sizes worldwide, finding the latest and best practices for tech business incubation could be a challenge. Fortunately, award programs, such as the currently open SSTI’s 3rd Annual Excellence in TBED Award, can help call attention to some of the most successful approaches.
The longest running award program for incubation is offered by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), which recently announced its top incubation programs, clients and graduates as part of its 2009 awards competition. San Jose BioCenter was named the 2009 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year, the organization’s most prestigious honor for technology incubators. The BioCenter and the six other award recipients were recognized at a ceremony during NBIA’s 23rd annual conference held last week. More information about the 2009 NBIA award winners is available at: http://www.nbia.org/success_stories/awards/index.php.
The estimated count of 5,000 incubators and accelerators keeps growing. Following is an overview of select announcements in new technology incubators from across the world in recent weeks.
Madison (WI) City Council members earlier this month approved funding of $2.6 million for a 31,000-square-foot bio-agriculture business incubator, reports Madison.com. The Midwest BioLink incubator will provide offices, greenhouse space and testing fields for startup companies. More than $2 million in city funds will be provided via tax increment financing, according to the article. The city’s funding is part of an application for $4.5 million in federal funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which requires a local match of at least 25 percent.
A new Center for Entrepreneurs opened in March on the Kellogg Community College Campus in Battle Creek, MI. Residents will receive entrepreneur training assistance through a directory of business experts, professors, and mentors and coaches from small business counseling groups, reports the Battle Creek Enquirer. In addition to office space, a new online entrepreneur resource center from Battle Creek Unlimited will offer tools, links, resource contacts, and information that will help entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas, the article states.
The New Zealand Government approved funding to support master planning and establishment work that will provide operating expenses for the first eight years of the New Zealand Innovation Centre . A select group of co-located, fast growth, knowledge-intensive or high-technology companies will receive access to integrated research, development services and business services. Partners include Auckland University and the Auckland City Council.
Ann Arbor SPARK recently opened its third business incubator in its Regional Incubator Network, which is comprised of two business and one wet lab incubator. In addition to office space and conference rooms, SPARK East offers critical startup services, including banking, financing, marketing, sales, human resources and logistics. Incubator tenants can seek one-on-one advice from the SPARK East Entrepreneur Resource Board.
Earlier this year, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) launched SeedSpace, a 1,225-square-foot co-working space within the 35,000-square-foot technology business incubator at Georgia Tech, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. SeedSpace, which includes seven offices and eight workstations, will host companies with high potential that have applied to ATDC and entrepreneurs who have had a recent exit and are figuring out their next move, the article states.
New York Gov. David Paterson announced last week a series of initiatives to spur job creation in clean energy, including four small-business incubators that will provide specialized support for the development of early stage clean-energy technology companies. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority selected the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, the Tech Garden in Syracuse and Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn each to receive $1.5 million to establish and operate clean-energy incubators. The four organizations will work with entrepreneurs to commercialize products.
New York’s FY10 enacted budget calls for the reappropriation of $138 million approved last year for new construction and relocation of University at Buffalo programs to the Buffalo Niagra Medical Campus, according to a UB press release. Of this funding, $118 million will be used for construction of a Center for Clinical and Translational Research and bioscience incubator within the Global Vascular Institute. Groundbreaking is expected this year with a completion date of 2011.
The WESST Enterprise Center, a business incubator focusing on light manufacturing, technology, service companies, artisan industries and digital media, opened in January in Albuquerque, NM. The 37,000-square-foot building is located on a remediated toxic waste site and is the first LEED-certified building in downtown Albuquerque, reports New Mexico Business Weekly.
The Independence (MO) City Council is considering plans to turn the former Independence Regional Medical Center into a business incubator for both computer-tech entrepreneurs and general business operators, reports The Kansas City Star. Under the proposal, the developer would receive $10 million in tax increment financing (TIF) revenues, which is part of an agreement signed in 2004 that set aside $12 million in TIF funds to help with renovation or demolition of the medical center, according to the article.
The Metro Innovation Center recently opened as a high-tech incubator to support business ideas from students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The University Research Park spent $300,000 to renovate the 6,000-square-foot center that will nurture companies grounded in information technology, engineering, medical devices, and computer sciences.
The old city hall of Surprise, AZ will be converted into an incubator marketed toward biotech companies, according to an article in The Arizona Republic. The $8.6 million complex comprising four buildings will be converted in phases, the article states.return to the top of the page
Recent Obama Appointments Related to TBED and Research Recent Obama Appointments Related to TBED and Research
Not all of the new appointments to the Obama Administration make headlines, but many are as important for influencing the direction and administration of federal TBED policies and programs as well as the focus of federal science and technology investments. Since March 13, President Obama has announced the following nominations for positions that might influence state and regional TBED practice during the Administration:
Recent Obama Appointments Related to TBED and Research
State Science & Technology Institute
5015 Pine Creek Drive
Westerville, OH 43081
SSTI Weekly Digest by SSTI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Approved for redistribution and derivative works. Attribution required. Not for commercial use.