Creating a Better Future through Competitive Industries

April 6, 2017

This category recognizes initiatives that improve the competitiveness of a region’s industries. Approaches may include, but are not limited to: expanding the innovation capacity of existing companies or industries; helping industries develop new leading-edge products or services; infusing innovation into business operations; or, cultivating an innovation ecosystem of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions.

Evaluation criteria

  • Impact = 25%
  • Transferability of Lessons Learned = 20%
  • Partnerships = 15%
  • Context = 15%
  • Innovativeness = 10%
  • Ability to Achieve its Vision = 15%

Creating a Better Future through Entrepreneurship & Capital

April 6, 2017

This category recognizes initiatives that encourage and support entrepreneurship and/or enhance the ability of companies to access startup capital that will cultivate a community of entrepreneurs and help transform their ideas into a high-growth business. Initiatives recognized under this award can include, but are not limited to: enriching the skills and abilities of entrepreneurs; providing capital during the critical stages of capital formation; increasing the capacity of entrepreneurs to successfully start and grow companies; or, improving the environment for entrepreneurial development.

Evaluation criteria

  • Impact = 25%
  • Transferability of Lessons Learned = 20%
  • Partnerships = 15%
  • Context = 15%
  • Innovativeness = 10%
  • Ability to Achieve its Vision = 15%

Creating a Better Future by Supporting & Converting Research

April 6, 2017

This category recognizes initiatives that create a better future by supporting the science and technology research capacity of an institution and/or converting research into technologies and products with high commercial potential. Initiatives appropriate for this award category may include, but are not limited to: commercialization programs; centers of excellence programs; industry-driven research partnerships; initiatives to expand research facilities; eminent scholar recruitment efforts; or, technology transfer activities.

Evaluation criteria

  • Impact = 25%
  • Transferability of Lessons Learned = 20%
  • Partnerships = 15%
  • Context = 15%
  • Innovativeness = 10%
  • Ability to Achieve its Vision = 15%

Most Promising Initiative

April 6, 2017

This category recognizes initiatives launched in the last three years that are using new and exciting methods, creative program design, or are showing promise by taking an innovative approach to apply proven strategies that will create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for their community. The initiatives also should address a specific need in a community or region identified as an obstacle to economic growth with an emphasis on innovative or creative design or implementation.
Applicants should address one specific tech-based economic development initiative (such as an effort to increase access to risk capital, build entrepreneurial capacity, commercialize research, etc.) rather than a comprehensive effort.

Evaluation criteria

  • Innovativeness = 50%
  • Transferability of lessons learned = 20%
  • Ability to achieve its vision = 10%
  • Partnerships = 10%
  • Context = 10%

Applicants should address one specific innovation economy initiative (such as an effort to increase access to risk capital, build entrepreneurial capacity, commercialize research, etc.) rather than a comprehensive organizational effort.


Application process

April 6, 2017

In celebrating exceptional achievement of innovation economy initiatives, the awards program:

  • Requires applicants to provide a clear explanation of the need for the initiative, a logical approach to addressing the need,   and demonstrable results;
  • Is highly selective with applications reviewed by a committee of distinguished current and former practitioners; and,
  • Is rigorous, but fair, in its evaluation.

Awards will be presented only for exceptional achievement; therefore, SSTI reserves the right to withhold an award in a particular category if no applications are deemed as meeting the standards of the award.

Entry guidelines

Each entry must include a completed registration form, cover page, narrative, and payment of entry fee. The narrative document must be typed on a maximum of five 8.5” by 11” pages using a minimum font size of 11 points.

New in 2017: Applications are required to use the official awards cover page, downloadable versions are available at www.sstiawards.org. Applications without the official cover page will not be considered for judging.

Many initiatives can cross into multiple categories. Nominations can be submitted for more than one category; however, each entry is considered a separate nomination and requires a separate registration form, narrative, and application fee. It is up to the applicant to determine the proper category for their initiative; entries with no award category marked or multiple categories marked, will not be considered. Applicants can win in only one category.

Eligibility

Any economic development organization or practitioner is eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to: nonprofit organizations; local and state governments; institutions of higher education (including community colleges); federal agencies and labs; industry associations; economic development councils; and other organizations that promote innovation and technology-based economic development.

While SSTI encourages its members to apply, you do not need to be a member of SSTI to enter or receive an award, and your membership status will not affect the judges’ evaluation of your application.

 

Deadline for applications and payment is May 26, 2017, by 5 p.m. EDT.