Selection process & evaluation criteria

Selection committee & process

Each application will be reviewed by a committee of distinguished current and former practitioners with knowledge and experience within a given award category. Selection committee members are chosen each year by SSTI based on their experience, knowledge of the field, and accomplishments.
The selection committee will evaluate applications based on a set of weighted criteria. Evaluation criteria may be modified from year to year; however, the criteria will not be altered after the call for entries is announced.
If no application in an award category achieves the level of excellence contemplated for the award, the committee may decide not to make an award in that category. The selection committee will determine winners, and decisions of that committee will be final. All applicants will be notified of their status when winners are selected.


Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to a scoring system with a set of weighted criteria based on the applicant’s ability to clearly demonstrate: impact, transferability, partnerships, context, ability to achieve its vision, and innovativeness.

Judges will provide an overall score and a breakout score for the six criteria listed below. For all categories except the Most Promising Initiative, impact and transferability account for the highest percentage.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate each application:

Impact = 25%

  • Does this effort have quantifiable metrics/measures? Are the measures and the methodology for determining the impact appropriate?
  • Does the organization communicate its results in a meaningful and effective manner?

Transferability of lessons learned = 20%

  • What aspects of this effort qualify it for a “best practice?”
  • Is this effort structured in such a way that others can learn lessons and apply them to their region?

Partnerships = 15%

  • Has the project shown it has support of key leadership within its topic area?
  • Does the initiative promote long-term or broad-reaching partnerships and collaboration?
  • Does the initiative effectively leverage the resources and expertise of various organizations? Does it connect the dots in such a way as to maximize its goals and outcomes?

Context = 15%

  • Has the application demonstrated how it fits into the overall economic development efforts of its region?
  • Is the size and scope of the project meaningful to the geography in which it operates?

Innovativeness = 10%

  • Does the effort significantly improve the quality standard for this area of tech-based economic development?
  • Did the applicant demonstrate a fresh, creative or new approach in developing or implementing the initiative?
  • What makes this effort stand out among others in its field?

Ability to achieve its vision = 15%

  • Does the proposal articulate a long-term vision or strategy for the initiative?
  • Does it identify key resources and/or issues that could impact successful implementation? Overall, does the program demonstrate that it has the elements in place to be able to accomplish its goals over the life of the program?


Evaluation criteria for Most Promising Initiative

Applications submitted for consideration in this category will be evaluated according to the same criteria used for the other categories; however, percentages assigned will be weighted differently. Scoring is heavily weighted on innovativeness and transferability.

  • 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.

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