Drumroll, Please: SSTI Excellence in TBED Awards Categories Are…

To mark the 10th anniversary of the SSTI Excellence in TBED awards program, we have made some exciting changes to the categories. Since last year, we have combined some categories with the intent of better reflecting the ever-evolving field of tech-based economic development and added a new category to reflect burgeoning activity in a new area.

Starting this year, the previous categories – Expanding Research Capacity and Commercializing Research – will be combined into the new category – Building Prosperity Through Science & Technology:

“Initiatives that build economic prosperity by expanding S&T research capacity and/or promoting the conversion of 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; university-industry partnerships; initiatives to expand research facilities; eminent scholar recruitment efforts; or, technology transfer activities.”

The categories of Building Entrepreneurial Capacity and Increasing Access to Capital also have a new home – Creating Prosperity Through Entrepreneurship & Capital:

“Initiatives that support and encourage 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 ability 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.”

In addition to combining these categories, we also have created one new category:

Increasing Prosperity Through Economic Opportunity

“Initiatives that provide services and other support to help unleash the economic potential of people or build a 21st century workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of local companies. This category recognizes initiatives including but not limited to: supporting the inclusion of underrepresented groups in the innovation economy; preparing a STEM-educated workforce; or, connecting workers with the training and/or education necessary to address the needs of key regional industries.”

Don’t worry, one of our most popular categories – Most Promising TBED Initiative – is still available to new initiatives efforts — efforts launched in the last three years that are using new and exciting methods, creative program design, or are taking an innovative approach to apply proven strategies that spur economic prosperity. This category will recognize an outstanding and promising TBED initiative addressing a spectrum of areas including support for research capacity; transforming commercialization and tech transfer activities; increasing access to capital; supporting and growing entrepreneurship; improving competitiveness; and, preparing an inclusive 21st century workforce.

We also have made a slight adjustment to the category – Improving Competitiveness of Existing Industries. Starting in 2016, it will be Enhancing Prosperity Through Competitive Industries:

“Initiatives that enhance economic prosperity by improving 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 to develop new leading-edge products or services; infusing innovation into business operations; or, cultivating an innovation ecosystem of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions.”

With all the changes to the program, we recommend that you join us on May 23 at 1:00 P.M. ET for extra help in crafting an award-winning application. During our annual SSTI awards informational call, SSTI President and CEO Dan Berglund will provide valuable insight on the program and helpful hints on how to write an outstanding application. Thecall is scheduled for Monday, May 23 at 1:00 P.M. ET. Register today…

For more information regarding the SSTI Excellence in TBED awards program, email Rob Ksiazkiewicz at robk@ssti.org.

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