Calling out a few of over 35 cities that have advanced in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition to create innovative solutions for shared problems faced by municipal governments. With the struggle of the national administration to drive innovation state governors and city mayors are leading the way.
First of the year updates on the development of 2018 state budgets. Alaska and Wyoming are interesting to note as they respond to pressure in the energy industry.
- Decrease in state dividend payments from the state energy industry to address the $2.5B budget gap.
- Reduces funding to a number of agencies.
- $40M requested in new funding for projects around technology-based economic development and industry diversification.
- Goal to increase general fund by 2.6% ( coming back from $500M gap)
- $86.9M higher education spending, of which, $33.2M focused on offsetting tuition costs.
- $3.1M for restoring the Energy Office, which ended last year. This would extend the state’s export incentive for another five years at $175K.
- $225K for two broadband staff
- $21.4B in K-12 public education.
- $15M for computer programing from middle and high school levels.
- $3.7B for Florida colleges and universities.
- $1.75M for assistance to veterans looking for employment or entrepreneurship.
- $7M program for community college assistance to approved applicants.
- $400K for Innovate Mississippi, a private-public partnership technology focus economic development.
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.
- $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.