MN in the Worlds Fair Nomination Process


Minnesota successfully navigated the process to both re-joining the international expo community and now successfully securing a nomination entering bidding process targeting hosting the 2023 worlds fair.   With the overall theme focusing on health and wellness, the critical next step is developing the proposal.   Central to the proposal will be an infrastructure pitch showing the resources the region has to handle a worlds fair level crowd in terms of hotelling, transportation, and overall attractions.   In addition,  the region will be competing against other competitors to create a differentiated experience that makes world’s fair a historic event.   The history of the world’s fair is full of precedent-setting experiences of technology, society, and culture.   This will be Minnesota’s real challenge.  Certainly, the fact we are already hosting super bowl level events suggests we have the basics of core infrastructure, but the differentiator will be the deciding factor.   Do we have a public and globally recognized vision for our region?   Are we leading the way in high growth industries and being the center of new and emerging industries?  Are we looked to as a central player for innovation and solving tomorrow’s grand challenges?   The bidding process will tell…

See the announcement in the international photo gallery

CO, MN, NM, OK state budgets reduce innovation funding


Some states have to defund innovation to manage budgets.
Colorado: Governor John Hickenlooper
  • The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade budget will be reduced $8M to a $51M budget.
  • $1.8M for the Institute of Cannabis Research.
  • $2.8M for the Higher Education Competitive Research Authority.
Minnesota: Governor Mark Dayton
  • Killed the $15M Angel Investment Tax Credit program.
  • The state also reduced its R&D tax credit, which was at 10% and now set at 4%.
  • $145M FY18/ $119 FY19 to the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
  • $20.3M for the Office of Broadband Development.
  • $1.4M for Minnesota High Tech Association STEM program.
  • $4.2M for the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program.
  • $1.2M to the Metropolitan Economic Development Association.
  • $500Kfor the Minnesota emerging entrepreneur loan program.
  • $750Kfor the Neighborhood Development Center to support small businesses and entrepreneurship.
  • $875K for the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership center.
  • $8M for the University of MN and Mayo Foundation partnership
  • $8M for the MnDrive Cancer Clinical Trials Network.
  • $3M for the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research
  • $2.5M for the Biomedicine and Bioethics Innovation.
New Mexico: Governor Susana Martinez
  • $1.0M to the University of New Mexico Southwest Research Center and $500K for the manufacturing engineering program.
  • $500M to the New Mexico State University minority STEM programs.
  • $3M for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
  • $100K for the North New Mexico College STEM program.
  • $4M for the Santa Fe Community College small business development center.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
  • $13.4M for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.


source: SSTI


DC83A188-F5EB-46CA-A76F-8BC6A759B531The Minnesota Department of Economic Development hosted the first open IOT meeting to discuss the state’s future in the IOT industry.  A wide and diverse group of stakeholders attended this event that offered discussion around the state assets and activities in the many aspects of the IOT industry.   As of the time of the meeting, it was suggested that Minnesota currently holds a lead over most states in the IOT space.   This is based on the level of activity featuring over 3000+ identified companies working in IOT infrastructure or implementing significant IOT solutions into their current business operations.  While IOT represents many layers of technology and design it is still built on connected systems architectures that have been around for many years. Several of the systems integrators spoke to decades of experience in these spaces and that they are serving global clients in new IOT solutions.   Currently, Minnesota is also a leader in hosting Industry events, like IOT Fuse, that attracts attendees from far outside of Minnesota.

The conversation also covered other areas of the United States that are now putting the focus on cultivating IOT industry and workforce.   International examples looked at the IOT clusters in Germany where also discussed the need to Minnesota to actively develop a regional strategy to capitalize on our current lead in the field.   Cluster development is growing in size and investment across the globe.   Minnesota has been slow to create a vision of the future for the state’s industries much less a play for new emerging industries.  While the state is rich in all forms of assets,  the leadership to develop a shared vision is still an opportunity waiting to happen for the region.

See event photos in the gallery


DE, LA, ME, MO, NH, VT, and WA innovation funding

United-States-Map-2More states take measures to build an innovation plan for their region.  This on the heels of concerns of cuts in Federal funding from the Trump administrations.  Proactive Governors are on the front lines looking out for their state’s future well being.  While other states are confronted with cuts to the budget.


Delaware: Governor Jay Carney
  • $2.0M for the Delaware Prosperity Partnership focused on innovation economy, marketing, and workforce.
  • $1M for a board with public and private sector representatives will govern the partnership.
  • $2.8M for a new division of the Secretary of State’s office will be responsible for supporting small businesses incentive programs.
  • $2.5M for the National Institute Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals.
  • $1.5M for the Fraunhofer Center for Vaccine Development.
  • $1.0M for the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (5 yrs).
  • $1.0M in state match for the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research (5 yrs).
  • $1.0M for the Bioscience Center for Advanced Technology.
  • $800K for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
Louisiana: Governor John Bel Edwards
  • $209.4M for a program of state scholarships for Louisiana residents who attend any of the Louisiana public colleges and universities or the Louisiana Community and Technical College system.
  • $34.7M to support statewide economic development in areas of small business loans and mentoring;  entrepreneurial incubators.
Maine: Governor: Paul LePage
  • $17.4M for university researchers with capital to leverage federal and private sector research grants and contracts.
  • $7.1 million to promotes research and development in the state and funding technology transfer activities and inter-institutional research efforts.
Missouri: Governor Eric Greitens
  • Forced to cut $250M from the budget deal
New Hampshire: Governor Chris Sununu
  • Removed more than $1 million in matching funds for STEM program.
  • $375K for new robotics education fund.
  • $275K for the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center.
Vermont: Governor Phil Scott
  • $428K to the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center.
  • $200K for the University of Vermont center for emerging technology.
  • $150K for the Vermont Small Business Development Center.
Washington: Governor Jay Inslee
  • $700K for regional organizations working with tourism, agriculture or wood products or clean tech and energy and must be 100 percent matched by the grantee.
  • $3M for aerospace innovation.


source: SSTI

1st Sunrise Social

Sunrise SocialI attended my first sunrise social event hosted by the Generation Group.   The networking event brings together their clients and friends for a breakfast social that features inspirational features.   This event speaker was a dad whose life was transformed when one of his children need serious medical treatment.  His story was one of precedent-setting collaboration across medical practitioners and facilities.   While hospitals and care are actually competitive businesses.  Need and a higher calling can help resources align across boundaries to accomplish something that none of the separate parties could achieve by themselves.   The talked highlighted a number of key attributes that were required to make the collaboration possible.  They included: Why, Spirit, Cohesion, Taking care of each other, Trust, Shared commitment, Empathy, Listening, Win-win and Unconditional support.   The barriers from medical personnel they encountered initially were rooted in fear of change based.  Not the concept of change, but what would their place in the new order be.  How would their Positions and Titles be interpreted when collaborating across boundaries.  Over time these groups of people learned those considerations were not relevant in light of what they could achieve.

This real-life story was both inspirational and educational.   It calls for us all to question the value un-yielding competition vs. the power of collaboration across all aspects of business and society.   I look forward to future events!