Sponsored by The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
Upcoming Events
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July 24, 2017
Register Now! Workshop Targets Small Business Innovation Research Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
 
A Gulf Coast Regional Technology Summit focused on the federal SBIR programs will be held Thursday, August 10 - Friday, August 11 at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, Miss. Small businesses that are interested in learning more about working with federal and state programs should register to attend this free event. Register here.  
 
The technology summit is in partnership with the LA-FAST (Louisiana - Federal and State Technology) and MS-FAST (Mississippi - Federal and State Technology) programs along with the Marine Industries Science and Technology (MIST) Cluster. Additional promotional support is provided by Mississippi Defense Diversification Initiative of the University of Southern Mississippi.
 
The first day - August 10th - will be devoted to an SBIR proposal writing workshop presented by Jim Greenwood of the Greenwood Consulting Group, Inc. This workshop will cover the SBIR Phase I Overview and Technical Proposal Preparation followed by an SBIR Cost Proposal presentation on how to keep records to the government's satisfaction when one wins an SBIR award. In addition, the first 35 registered attendees will receive a complimentary Phase 1 proposal review by Greenwood Consulting when submitting a Phase 1 proposal within 365 days of the workshop. A Networking Reception will follow the workshop. More details to come on this special reception.
 
The second day - August 11th - will be a series of speakers and panel discussions with talks from federal SBIR program managers, federal small business procurement specialist, and other federal agency representatives, state resource providers, representatives from small businesses who have won SBIR awards, presentations on State Phase 0 programs offering $2,000 cash grants supporting Phase 1 SBIR proposal development, and much more (agenda coming soon). While the focus will be on SBIR this event will benefit anyone interested in doing business with federal agencies.
 
The LA-FAST, MS-FAST, and the MIST Cluster programs are supported in part by funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Capstone Project Surveys the ED Professionals in Mississippi

For her MSED capstone project, Megan Clark conducted a survey of economic development professionals in Mississippi for the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Office of Personnel Management and the Mississippi Economic Development Council. The purpose was to evaluate salary, experience, education, and demographic information of the professionals in Mississippi.  An electronic survey was sent to 443 people to which 106 surveys were returned, giving an 85% confidence rate. Most of the sample (73%) earns over $50,000 a year with ½ earning $50,000 to $100,000. Only 60% see their current position as a stepping-stone for career advancement. There is a level age pipeline of practitioners with 30% being under 34 years old and a slightly decreasing percentage in each age bracket, with about 12% whom are 65 years or older. A large percentage of the respondents (43%) have less than 5 years in the profession.  Over half of respondents have a graduate degree (51%), but less than a quarter feel their educational background is aligned with their current profession. Males make up about 60% of the respondents. A finding of concern is in a state with an almost 40% African American population, 92% of the respondents indicate they are Caucasian and less than 5% indicated being African American.  
 
Megan is a native of Laurel, Mississippi, and has an undergraduate degree in Communication and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. She has spent her summer interning with Laurel Main Street, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization and further economic development of Historic Downtown Laurel. She will complete the program with her Master's Degree in Economic Development in August. 
MEDC Annual Conference Gives A Nod to the Past with a Commitment to the Future

The Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) hosted its annual conference July 12-14 at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, Miss. Representatives from USM along with incoming economic development graduate students attended the conference and had the opportunity to hear Erin and Ben Napier, stars of HGTV's Home Town, discuss "A Commitment to the Future". The agenda featured economic development consultants from NAI Furman, Global Location Strategies, Deloitte Consulting, and VisionFirst Advisors.
 
The conference gave a nod to the past while providing a commitment to the future of economic development in Mississippi. The graduate students and attendees participated in sessions such as: Site Certification vs. Site Readiness, Realities of Competition, The Heartbeat of Economic Development, and Foreign Investment. There were many opportunities to network and meet other professionals during the conference.
 
Pictured left to right: Dr. Chad Miller; Derek Halbasch, Brandon Nettles, David Jordan, Dr. Shannon Campbell, and Tasha May
Southern Miss Economic Development | tasha.may@usm.edu | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001