Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 Meeting in Atlanta, GA

The first regional meeting convened by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 (AMP 2.0) will be held on February 3, 2014 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.

Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 (AMP 2.0) meeting

AMP 2.0 meeting (photo – gatech.edu)

AMP 2.0 is a cross-sector national effort aimed at securing U.S. leadership in emerging technologies that can create manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.

The AMP 2.0 regional meeting at Georgia Tech is designed to gather feedback from stakeholders in local and state government, academia and industry.

The focus will be on rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem by identifying challenges and finding solutions that bring small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the advanced manufacturing mix.

AMP 2.0 is looking for input on topics such as workforce challenges and technology adoption limitations for SMEs, and SME access to collaborative technology and America Makes (NAMII – national additive manufacturing innovation institute).

The morning plenary session begins with remarks by Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson.

Mike Molnar, director of the Advanced Manufacturing Program Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will give an overview of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

Siemens CEO Eric Spiegel will talk about the importance of advanced manufacturing.

There will be a panel discussion that will focus on the challenges SMEs face in adopting advanced manufacturing technologies. Another panel will discuss how to engage and energize manufacturing.

A series of breakout sessions will include four concurrent breakouts addressing everything from manufacturing workforce needs to new technologies, scale-up strategies, and leadership and change management.

The 19-member AMP 2.0 Steering Committee is a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). It is co-chaired by MIT President Rafael Reif and Dow Chemical President, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris.

AMP 2.0 is a follow-up to the inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee that was created in 2011. That first AMP steering committee ended up proposing and catalyzing several key initiatives and priorities to strengthen the U.S. advanced manufacturing sector.

AMP 2.0 is working on guiding the implementing the original AMP recommendations, including the creation of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs) under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

What: Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 (AMP 2.0) Regional Meeting

When: February 3, 2014

Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta, Georgia

NY/NJ Gear up For Super Bowl XLVIII Impact

Super Bowl XLVIII is bringing a whole lot more than just football to New Jersey and New York. It’s a giant economic engine that’ll dump an expected $550 million of economic activity in the lead up to the game on February 2, 2014.

Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII (photo – nynjsuperbowl.com)

The Super Bowl is expected to bring around 400,000 visitors to the area, but no more than 82,500 will be seated for the game at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

A majority of these visitors will be from the New York metropolitan area. But about 150,000 will be from outside, including large contingents of Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks fans.

Based on past Super Bowl impact reports, it’s safe to say that more than 5,000 temporary jobs will be created by Super Bowl XLVIII. The National Football League (NFL) alone is hiring more than 1,500 temp workers for the event.

A study released by the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee last year showed a $480 million net impact for the region, and was credited for creating and supporting 5,672 full- and part-time jobs that generated $154.0 million in additional earnings for residents in the New Orleans area.

Similarly, a Ball State University impact study of the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis showed that it generated $364.68 million in total economic activity, resulting in 5,032 jobs and $202.65 million dollars in labor compensation.

An economic impact study conducted on behalf of the Jets and Giants by the Argus Group says that Super Bowl XLVIII will generate $550 million of economic activity.

There are other advantages apart from all the direct and indirect spending and the jobs being created. There will be 5,000 members of the media present, and New York is using Super Bowl XLVIII as an opportunity for promoting “Taste NY” and tourism in Upstate New York.

There will be around 100 New York vendors featured at events organized by the Super Bowl Host Committee.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that the Super Bowl is an opportunity to show off the state and encourage guests to visit locations across New York. Gov. Cuomo said that visitors and New Yorkers alike will not be able to attend a Super Bowl event without seeing an NY State Tourism ad or sampling an NY State product.

The Super Bowl Host Committee, in conjunction with the NFL, has launched a Business Connect initiative to increase opportunities for local minority- and woman-owned enterprises to conduct Super Bowl business. The Business Connect initiative is sponsored by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

It’s also going to be one of the greenest Super Bowls in history. MetLife Stadium and its foodservice partner Delaware North Companies Sportservice have earned the first Certified Green Restaurant stadium from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). With more than 200 onsite restaurants serving around 100,000 people in a day, it is the largest-ever food-service operation to receive this certification.

The Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL are also partnering with the Broadway Green Alliance and Verizon to collect and recycle electronic waste in New Jersey and New York. The energy offsets to balance the power usage of Super Bowl XLVIII are being provided by New Jersey-based energy company PSEG, which is a host committee sponsor. More than 27,000 trees have been planted across both states to add to the “greening” effort.

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., president and CEO of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, said they are committed to making a positive environmental impact in New York and New Jersey through a series of initiatives including tree planting and e-waste collection.

Challenge.gov Wins Harvard Innovation Award

The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Challenge.gov platform has been declared as the winner of the 2013 Innovations in American Government Award.

Innovations in American Government Award

Innovations in American Government Award (photo – challenge.gov)

The award, meant to recognize and promote excellence and creativity in the public sector, is an annual program run by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Challenge.gov was selected out of an initial pool of more than 600 applicants.

In a statement announcing the award, Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School, said that Challenge.gov demonstrates the power of collaborative problem solving in the public sector.

Challenge.gov was launched by the GSA in 2010 after the agency was tasked with building a platform that would allow the public to compete for prizes by providing the government with novel solutions to tough problems.

GSA developed the Challenge.gov platform with the help NYC-based ChallengePost, which offers one of the leading platforms for software competitions and hackathons.

Since its launch in 2010, the Challenge.gov platform has provided 59 federal agencies crowdsourced solutions to more than 300 challenges that were tackled by more than 42,000 citizen solvers. The website has received 3.5 million visits from people in 11,000 U.S. cities and 220 countries and territories around the world.

In celebration of the award, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini, Harvard’s Stephen Goldsmith and other government officials gathered at GSA headquarters in Washington, DC for a ceremony that showcased some of the citizen-developed solutions.

One of the solutions on display was a flexible astronaut glove designed by an entrepreneur in response to a challenge from NASA.

Another challenge that became famous was the Robocall challenge issued by the Federal Trade Commission. FTC offered the winner a $50,000 prize for coming up with the best technical solution to block illegal robocalls.

One of the winning solutions called Nomorobo was submitted by Aaron Foss. He came up with a system that diverts incoming calls to a second line which hangs up on illegal robocalls, thus only allowing legitimate calls to go through to the user.

Nomorobo is now protecting 25,000 users and 18,000 phone lines, hanging up on more than 48,000 robocalls each week. Aaron says he never would have worked on the problem had it not been for the challenge.

Administrator Tangherlini said Challenge.gov is a powerful, yet practical, example that any jurisdiction or level of government can follow to enable its agencies to tap into the collective wisdom of completely new and creative audiences of problem solvers, driving innovation within and beyond government.

The Innovations in American Government Award Program was established at Harvard in 1985 by the Ford Foundation, and has since recognized and awarded nearly 500 government initiatives, and has received nearly 27,000 applications during this period.

NYCEDC and Health 2.0 Launch Pilot Health Tech NYC 2014

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Health 2.0 announced the launch of the Pilot Health Tech NYC 2014 funding program that will award $1,000,000 to innovative health technology projects in New York.

Pilot Health Tech NYC

Pilot Health Tech NYC (photo – nycedc.com)

This is the second round of Pilot Health Tech NYC. The program seeks to partner early-stage health and healthcare technology companies (innovators) with NYC healthcare service organizations and stakeholders (hosts).

The successful first round in 2013 drew more than 25 partners and 250 innovator companies, and threw up 10 winners after a process involving 200 matchmaking meetings which led to 41 joint applications.

The 10 pilot winners from 2013 have been able to raise huge amounts in private investment, including $4.5 million in the last six months alone. Their pilot programs are set to enroll more than 1,000 patients at various locations in New York City.

Pilot projects are expected to focus on addressing the healthcare industry’s defined needs, and will need to test a technology prototype for around four to nine months.

Pilot Health Tech NYC will fund up to 50 percent of the project cost of winning pilot programs, up to a maximum of $100,000. The total of $1,000,000 may be awarded to 10 or more pilots.

Apart from the funding award, winners will also get in-kind services or resources such as physician input, staff hours, IT resources, access to data and other costs of the pilot. NYCEDC and Health 2.0 will additionally provide planning and implementation support for the pilots.

The matchmaking sessions for this year will be held in March, and the deadline for joint applications is May 23, 2014. The winners will be announced and awards presented on June 25, 2014.

NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball said the City’s biotech sector has shown tremendous growth and strength, and Pilot Health Tech NYC is the next step in helping the life sciences ecosystem thrive. Kimball added that this innovative program will advance new technologies that will solve real medical issues, helping make New York healthier and diverse for years to come.

Health 2.0 CEO Indu Subaiya said Pilot Health Tech NYC was one of a kind and truly innovative. Subaiya said it directly addresses the most challenging issue faced by young companies – getting that first customer or pilot to validate their product.

Report – Economic Action Agenda for Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI) have released a report that spells out recommendations for the “Rhodemap RI” planning process that will result in a new economic development plan for Rhode Island by Oct 2014.

RI Economic Intersections report

RI Economic Intersections report

The report, titled “Economic Intersections of Rhode Island,” was released at Make It Happen RI 2.0.

The report was developed by the RI Foundation and Commerce RI in a process led by Fourth Economy Consulting.

They put together more than 20 focus groups that brought in more than 200 business leaders and subject matter experts to identify market opportunities at the intersection of industries.

The most appealing 21 recommendations out of more than 100 ideas the participants came up with are detailed in the report designed to create jobs and grow industries across five categories. The rest are mentioned in the appendix of the report.

Here’s a few highlights of the recommendations from the report:-

– Create the Rhode Island Center for Design and Manufacturing;

– Establish a Regional Center of Excellence for Marine and Cybersecurity Technologies;

– Create a marketing strategy for the marine and water- based economy, and encourage municipal participation in promoting access to water;

– Create a Rhode Island Shipping Association, and create a ShipRI app;

РDocument maker-related assets and capabilities, form a Maker’s Guild, and leverage the maker community to support business growth;

– Support innovation by promoting intellectual property, developing a support network for startups, etc. Connect technology companies with potential partners and services;

– Expand meaningful interaction between higher education and industry, explore feasibility of a new manufacturing-focused technical high school, and develop a manufacturing apprenticeship program;

РCreate a Fund for Rhode Island’s Future to directly fund small businesses and the support services and programs that benefit small businesses, and find supplemental funding from the private sector;

– Align and enhance technical assistance organizations and industry associations to facilitate job growth for small businesses;

– Support the creation of a community-based minority-focused financial institution;

– Support specialized funding for the creative and cultural economy, and for the agri- and aquaculture industry;

– Establish a cross-sector biotech, medical, and public health oversight team;

– Create a steady, predictable funding mechanism for tourism marketing at Commerce RI, and develop a state brand and interpretive story;

– Support food and beverage manufacturers by providing incubation facilities, education, developing a co-op, and pursue funding;

– Analyze the opportunity and plan for economic development through resiliency, and seek national funding;

– Implement a centralized system to connect industry networks, and complement the database with a news portal about successful collaborations;

РHost cross-sector events based on the “hackathon” format, support the development of collision spaces, and connect projects to people and resources.

Read an executive summary of the Economic Intersections of Rhode Island report – Download (pdf)

America Makes Announces Additive Manufacturing R&D Grants

America Makes, which is the Youngstown, Ohio-based National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), announced its second round of grant recipients for additive manufacturing applied research and development projects.

America Makes (NAMII)

America Makes

America Makes will be providing $9 million in funding for 15 projects, with the awarded project teams expected to come up with a matching cost share of $10.3 million, thus adding up to $19.3 million in public-private funding for these projects.

The 15 selected projects each have teams comprised of multiple organizations and institutions from the academic and private sectors. A total of 75 partners are involved in these 15 projects.

One project led by GE Aviation includes the following other partners – Aerojet Rocketdyne; B6 Sigma, Inc.; Burke E. Porter Machinery Company; Honeywell Aerospace; Montana Tech of The University of Montana; and TechSolve, Inc.

This project is looking at developing commercially available and platform-independent Quality Assurance technology for mass production of aerospace components using additive manufacturing.

You can see the full list of all 15 projects and the team partners on the americamakes.us website.

America Makes Director Ed Morris said they were pleased at the quality of the projects proposed for this second round of additive manufacturing R&D projects being launched. Morris added that this made the final selection process even more challenging.

This second round of projects is scheduled to commence in spring 2014. Combined with the first round projects that are already underway, Morris said they will soon have nearly $30 million of public and private funds invested in advancing additive manufacturing in the United States.

The Youngstown-based NAMII was established in Aug 2012 as a pilot institute to study the feasibility of the proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

NAMII, or America Makes, is now the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP). It is managed by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).

Ralph Resnick, founding director of America Makes and president and executive director of NCDMM, said he continues to be proud of the strides America Makes is making in advancing additive manufacturing and 3DP technologies.

Resnick added that this second project call announcement shows how the incredibly innovative and active community is working together, sometimes even with competitors, to advance the industry by exploring the limitless possibilities of 3DP.

The second of the NNMI institutes – the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute, was announced earlier this month and awarded to a consortium led by North Carolina State University.

The third and fourth institutes are expected to be announced very soon.

Louisiana’s $40M WISE Workforce Incentive Fund

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced $141.5 million in new funding for higher education institutions for the next fiscal year. It includes $40 million for a new workforce incentive initiative that will help better prepare students to compete in the new global economy.

University of Louisiana System

University of Louisiana System (photo – ulsystem.net)

The new initiative is officially called the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund (WISE Fund).

WISE funding will be provided directly to state research institutions doing commercial research and to colleges and universities that partner with private industry to produce graduates with high-demand degrees and certifications.

Funds will be awarded using a performance-based formula that incentivizes and rewards educational institutions for degrees that have been shown by occupational forecasting to be the most in demand and employable.

The workforce incentive funds will help these institutions link their coursework to industry needs and projected workforce demands. In order to be eligible for these funds, the educational institution must have a private sector partner willing to invest a 20 percent match in cash or in kind, providing technology and equipment.

Each institution will have to come up with a business plan that demonstrates how they plan to invest the funds to reach the number of degrees the state needs to fill the jobs available now and in the next few years.

Gov. Jindal said in a statement that economic development wins announced since 2008 are resulting in more than 80,000 new jobs and more than $50 billion in private capital investment. He said tens of thousands of jobs are in the pipeline, and their next challenge is to ensure that Louisiana has the skilled workforce to fill these jobs of the future.

Dr. Sandra Woodley, president of the University of Louisiana System, said there is a deep sense of responsibility and urgency in the nine universities of the University of Louisiana System to increase the pace of meeting growing workforce demands and achieving national competitiveness.

Board of Regents Chairman Clinton Rasberry said the Board of Regents recognizes the critical role higher education plays in economic development in Louisiana. He said the initiative will help the state’s universities prepare individuals to meet the evolving demand for skilled labor.

Gartner Getting $5M Incentives For Lee County, FL Expansion

Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is planning to expand its operations in Lee County, Florida by adding a new building and creating 400 new jobs.

Information technology in Lee County, FL

Information technology in Lee County, FL (photo – leecountybusiness.com)

The company plans to spend around $24 million for constructing a new office building or expanding the existing office space in South Fort Myers.

The 400 new jobs will be created by 2020, and will have average annual wages of $53,789 and additional average benefits worth $9,144, adding up to an average annual compensation of $62,933 for each of the new jobs being created.

Dr. Gary Jackson, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at the Lutgert College of Business, FGCU, was asked to prepare an economic impact report for the Gartner expansion project.

His report says that the project will create 824 jobs in Lee County by 2020, including the 400 direct jobs. Not to mention more than 150 construction jobs at the peak of the two year construction period while the expansion is in progress.

The annual value added economic impact upon project completion is expected to be $152 million. State and local sales tax revenues will increase by $800,000, and property tax and fee collections will increase by $650,000.

In order to facilitate this project, Gartner has been approved for a total of $4.95 million in state and local incentives that helped balance out a $5 million competitive cost gap versus two competing locations.

Lee County Commissioners have approved a $1.48 million incentives package and the State of Florida will chip in with $3.47 million.

This includes a Lee County FIRST incentive award of $1 million and $750,000 from the State as a Quick Action Closing Fund incentive. Gartner will get another $1.92 million from the State under the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program (QTI), with the county adding $480,000 as their 20 percent QTI match.

Lee County Commission Chairman Larry Kiker said that the main goal for them was knowing that there will be another 400 new jobs for Lee County. He said it was a win-win for Lee County financially as well as strengthening their ability to diversify the economy.

The 400 new jobs being added by Gartner will increase their local workforce in Lee County to 1,150. The Stamford, CT-based Gartner Inc. has more than 5,800 associates overall, and generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2012.

Conduit Global Selects Memphis For Call Center With 1000 Jobs

Conduit Global, one of the world’s largest independent business process outsourcing companies, has chosen Shelby County, Tennessee for a new 1,000-seat call center.

Conduit Global jobs announcement

Conduit Global jobs announcement (photo – Memphis Chamber)

The company will invest $8 million for making building and infrastructure improvements at the new facility in the Goodlett Farms Office Park in Cordova, which is mostly a part of the City of Memphis now.

The Memphis facility will be Conduit Global’s sixth location in the U.S., and will create more than 1,000 new jobs. The NYC-based company has more than 5,000 employees across nine countries.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty made the announcement along with Conduit Global President Bryce Hayes and other company officials.

Gov. Haslam said they were grateful to Conduit Global for creating more than 1,000 new jobs in Shelby County.

Commissioner Hagerty said business services is a sector where Tennessee possesses a unique competitive edge, and added that he couldn’t be more pleased to see Conduit add to the state’s strength in business process outsourcing.

Hayes said they are excited to partner with the State of Tennessee to expand their operations. He said that with the strong infrastructure, solid labor market and the access to technical schools and universities, they believe Tennessee provides the best opportunity for Conduit Global to meet its goals.

Mark Herbison, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of Economic Development, said the City’s business community is extremely excited about the new jobs and opportunities Conduit Global will bring to citizens at every economic level in the community.

Herbison thanked Gov. Haslam, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and their teams for all the support they provided in bringing this huge number of jobs to Memphis and Shelby County.

Mayor Wharton in turn thanked the Tennessee ECD for helping them market the community, which he said brought about this amazing addition. He added that this is another indication that when marketing and recruiting efforts are organized to leverage Memphis’ assets including workforce potential and natural and built infrastructure, they are able to compete with any city in the nation.

Mayor Luttrell said the news about the addition of 1,000 new Global Conduit jobs to the local economy is testimony that economic conditions in Shelby County are improving.

Ontario, Canada Launch Public-Private Venture Catalyst Fund

The Province of Ontario is launching a new public-private venture catalyst fund in partnership with the federal Canadian government and institutional and corporate investors.

Ontario Venture Capital Fund

Ontario Venture Capital Fund (photo – ontario.ca)

The Governments of Ontario and Canada have each pledged CAD$50 million to the fund, and private sector partner commitments boosted the total to CAD$217 million under the first closing.

As additional private investors get on board, the funding may increase up to CAD$300 million. Ontario is aiming to use this fund to attract investments to the province and help Ontario-based businesses compete globally.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a statement that they want to continue to attract investments to Ontario and support the most innovative companies. Premier Wynne added that funds like these are a great tool to help companies access the capital they need to grow, create jobs and expand into global markets.

The other investors in this fund include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and OpenText Corporation. Financial sector investors include the BMO Financial Group, National Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group and RBC.

The Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is the first fund of funds to be established under Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan. VCAP was launched a year ago as a strategy for deploying $400 million in new capital over 7-10 years, with the aim of attracting $1 billion in private sector investments in funds of funds.

The Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is also modeled as a fund of funds after the existing Ontario Venture Capital Fund. OVCF was established in 2008 as a public-private partnership between the Government of Ontario and institutional investors.

OVCF primarily invests in Ontario-based and Ontario-focused VC and growth equity funds that support innovative and high-growth companies. From 2009-2012, OVCF helped attract CAD$872 million in private sector capital and has helped create and retain 1,500 jobs in Ontario.

Toronto-based Northleaf Capital Partners is the fund manager for both OVCF and the new Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund.

Jeff Pentland, managing director of Northleaf, said that as patient venture capital investors, they are confident the Fund can not only produce attractive returns, but can also have a significant impact on creating a profitable, globally competitive and self-sustaining venture capital industry over the long term.

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