Notes from Innovation Policyworks


I have been thinking about how to promote economic development in rural areas for years. Recently, I've been reading Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson, and he makes the case that creativity blossoms in metropolitan areas. Click HERE for ideas how to make rural regions creative and economically vibrant.



What Governors Are Proposing 


North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: "A streamlined approach to the concept of public-private joint ventures that are based on ideas coming out of our research universities...Research ND."


New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan: "New Hampshire's public colleges and universities have set an ambitious goal of doubling the number of STEM students that will graduate by 2025...we should make this a state priority. We should also encourage the creation of new technologies by doubling the R&D tax credit."


Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell: "I'm asking for funding to support new teachers who teach STEM in our middle and high schools."


Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman: "I have recommended a budget that supports a two-year tuition freeze at our universities and community colleges."


Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval: "We must invest in Nevada's innovators and entrepreneurs. We will commit $10 million in Nevada's Knowledge Fund to do just that."


Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee: "I propose a budget to ensure that there is no tuition increase at the Community College of Rhode Island, $3 million in new state support for workforce development initiatives and funds to accelerate the economic activity in Providence's Knowledge District."


South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard: "GOED Research Commerce Grants, ...a proof-of-concept grant program..."


Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin: "I propose the Vermont Strong Scholars Program. ..if you graduate with a degree in a STEM field, we will pay back your final year of tuition if you stay and work in Vermont."


Washington Governor Jay Inslee: "I proposed a tradable R&D tax credit to help early-stage companies to develop and commercialize their ideas. We need to show our commitment with policies to promote economic growth, research and development on clean energy.."


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: "I look forward to working ...on ways to improve the amount of investment capital available to help start-ups and other small businesses growth new jobs in our state."


Georgia Governor Nathan Deal: "Increase the Hope Scholarship program by 3 percent over last year, bring the total to over $600 million."


Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie: I propose the HI Growth Initiative, a state investment program focused on building a innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses. We intent to provide $20 million of state investment capital that will focus on research commercialization, entrepreneur mentoring an the mobilization of startup investment capital."


Indiana Governor Mike Pence: "Our budget creates a partnership with Indiana's life sciences industry and our universities, to spur research and produce high-paying jobs."


Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy:" I am proposing the Bioscience Innovation Act, a $200 million fund to strengthen CT's bioscience sector over the next ten years.


Utah Governor Gary Hebert: "I propose we invest $20 million for STEM education."


Source: SSTI Digests Jan 6, Jan 13, Jan 21, Jan 28, Feb 6.

Why It's Important to Have Manufacturing in the USA 


I just came across a blog about a new book by Harvard Business School professors Gary Pisano and Willy Shih called "Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance." They argue that it's critical to manufacture in the US because new technological innovations often come from what is learned in the manufacturing and development of earlier technologies. And, when manufacturing goes offshore, so does the supply chain. These professors argue that it's most critical to keep manufacturing close to home where production processes are rapidly evolving such as advanced semiconductors, biotech drugs and nanomaterials. 


Sounds like a great argument for staying close to the work. Where have we heard that before?


HERE's the link to the blog.

Patenting Matters 


A new report from the Brooking Institute finds that the rate of patenting in the US now stands at historically high levels, although the US ranks just ninth in patents per capita. Sixty-three percent of US patents come from people living in 20 metro areas. Combined with the fact that patenting is associated with higher productivity growth and lower unemployment rates, it's reasonable that patents are a major driver of long-term regional economic growth. It also turns out that some patents are of higher quality, especially those funded by the US government (presumably because these R&D contracts are let on a fully competitive basis), and more specifically federal small business R&D funding. The higher quality patents drive more growth. Read the entire report HERE.

Venture Capital More Concentrated


SSTI recently reviewed venture capital activity from 2007-2012 and found that even though many states have instituted policies to attract equity capital, California received 58 percent of all venture capital dollars in 2012, and 78.5 percent of all venture dollars were invested in the top five states - CA, MA, NY, TX and Washington State. In comparison, California only received 40 percent of the dollars in 1995 and the top five states' share has also increased.  See all the statistics and download a table of data by states HERE.

Does Transparency Matter?


Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit dedicated to state and local government transparency, just released their 2013 report card, grading every state, and each county, city and school districts in each state. Government websites were graded A to F depending upon the content available. In general, state websites had higher grades with 86 percent scoring B or above, compared to 28 percent of counties, 44 percent of cities and 20 percent of school districts. It is likely this is correlated with budgets. Maine's transparency ranks 38th, with an overall grade of C+: the State website got a B-; Counties C+; Cities C+ and counties D+.  Read the full report HERE.

In This Issue
Govs' New Ideas
Made in the USA
Patenting Matters
CA or Bust!
Maine 126th Legislators Back R&D
S&L Employment Down
Generation Gap

Join Our Mailing List



To Statoil North America The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a contract proposal submitted by Norway-based Statoil for an offshore wind project planned for a site off Maine's coast.

The proposed Hywind Maine project would consist of four offshore wind turbines for a total of 12 MW of installed capacity, and would be the first project to use floating offshore wind turbine technology in the U.S.

Quote of the Month 


"A politician is a person with whose policies you don't agree; if you agree with him he's a statesman." 


David Lloyd George
(who was, of course, a politician!)

Maine's Legislators Introduce R&D Bills


Following last year's gubernatorial veto of the R&D bond passed by the Legislature, there are seven bills proposing new bonds for research and development and/or specific research related facilities. In addition, there are two bills to extend the Seed Capital Tax Credit which has run out of funds and another ten bills focused on start-ups. Next month we will include a more detailed review -- in most cases only bill titles are available at this time.

State and Local Government Employment Declining


The Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY-Albany has recently studied the impact of spending cuts on state and local government employment. While private employment started to fall in January 2008 and then started its rebound in early 2010, state and local governments have been shedding jobs almost continually since 2008 with no rebound in sight. And, state and local government jobs have decreased more as a percent than private sector jobs. So, cuts in state and local spending have actually contributed to the stagnant employment picture. Read the entire report HERE.

Generation Gap

Deloitte Touche surveyed almost 5000 Millennials online from 18 countries. They found that while Millennials value innovation in an employer, only 26 percent believe their organization's leaders encourage practices that foster innovation. Two thirds believe that innovation is a key factor in making an organization an employer of choice. Specific requirements for innovation mentioned are:

* Encouragements and rewards for idea generation and creativity 
* Providing free time dedicated to learning and creativity
* Openness and freedom to challenge.
View our profile on LinkedIn

96 Maine Street, Suite 183 Brunswick, ME 04011 207.522.9028

Innovation Policyworks, LLC, is an innovation strategy and evaluation firm focused on the development and measurement of effective state and regional technology-based policies and programs. Dr. Catherine S. Renault has been delivering innovation-based economic development results in rural states for over 22 years. She has been a technology-based economic development practitioner in two states and consulted with many more, most recently as science advisor and Director of the Office of Innovation for the State of Maine.  

Cathy has recently been working with E2Tech, a Maine trade association, and the University of Maine to describe and explore the Clean Technology sector in the state. For a list of projects, see www.innovationpolicyworks.com/projects.