Wyoming is out of the gate early in 2018 with economic growth planning. This is one of the first stories of momentum in 2018. Lead by states that have put several years into dedicated long-term planning and can effectively engage their legislatures for state-level funding. The next race is for 2018 Federal dollars and that race has already begun several years ago with states getting repeated grants for the development of innovation ecosystems and cluster development. Those states are also seeming to fair better in winning the development of federal research labs and the research grants that support them long term.
Wyoming: Governor Matt Mead
Has prioritized diversification strategies to grow the state’s economy by funding $1M to form ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) was created late in 2016, as a dedicated team that built plan and the request for $37M plan for 2018-2019 (receiving $36M)
- $36M in statewide programs to support tech-based development, which includes:
- $6M million for Research and Innovation Fund that provides matching funds as a way to leverage federal R&D opportunities
- $15M to expand the commercial air service
- $10M to improve the state’s access to broadband
- $5M to develop a new organization called Startup:Wyoming, which would administer a Fund and provide support to entrepreneurs throughout the state.
- Other areas of recommendations outside the funding above include:
- $20M in seed money for the Startup:Wyoming Fund to invest in promising technology startups and to attract startups from other states.
- STEM & Computer Science for higher education prep.
- Research and development in high-growth, high-potential industries, such as block chain, vertical takeoff and landing technology, and wind energy.
- Workforce Training in high-potential industries.