PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - Sep 16, 2013) -  Six organizations were named winners of SSTI's 2013 Excellence in TBED award, serving as national models for states and regions investing in science, technology and innovation to grow their economies and create high-paying jobs. Among the winners, a newer program was selected as the Most Promising TBED Initiative, recognized for creative use of existing resources and strong public-private sector support to spur entrepreneurial activity.

"The geographic and programmatic diversity of this year's winners, particularly in the populations they serve, is impressive," said Dan Berglund, SSTI president and CEO. "This group, along with our past winners, has demonstrated growth strategies that are replicable and producing tangible results worthy of emulation to improve the nation's competitiveness."

Awards were presented today during SSTI's 17th Annual Conference in Portland, OR, attended by more than 250 local, regional and national leaders in economic development from 40 states and four countries. The following initiatives were named 2013 recipients of SSTI's Excellence in TBED award:

Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) - Expanding the Research Capacity Category
USTAR is effectively strengthening Utah's knowledge economy through strategic investments in higher education and thoughtful collaboration between state government and leaders in the business community and universities. The initiative focuses on the recruitment of top-level researchers, state-of-the-art interdisciplinary R&D facilities and deployment of statewide commercialization teams to create high-wage jobs and bolster the innovation infrastructure of Utah. USTAR's combination of facilities, human capital and entrepreneurial nature are essential to its success. In its first seven years, USTAR has seen a $488 million return on investment in the form of Industry Sponsored Research and research grants. USTAR's researchers have submitted more than 390 disclosures, filed 280 patents and have 72 active licenses and projects.

Innovation Center of the Rockies (ICR) - Commercializing Research Category
The Innovation Center of the Rockies (ICR) has developed a low-cost, effective model to commercializing university technology and creating new companies. With firm footing in the Colorado entrepreneurial community, ICR draws from a pool of more than 1,500 volunteer advisors to provide expert matching for incubator clients in developing commercialization strategies for university inventions and help established companies overcome critical obstacles. A replicable model and formally organized network of business decision makers, entrepreneurs and mentors distinguish the program as a leader in the field. Efforts to commercialize research have resulted in the creation of 498 jobs since 2006, and ICR clients have attracted nearly $91 million in new capital. 

BioGenerator - Building Entrepreneurial Capacity Category
The BioGenerator builds investable, sustainable bioscience companies in the St. Louis region by providing business and technical advice and support, early stage capital, and shared lab space and equipment. BioGenerator is the venture development organization of BioSTL, a regional collaboration to build St. Louis' bioscience ecosystem. For 10 years, BioGenerator has helped reinvent St. Louis' economy through startup activity. It has continuously improved its programs by enhancing entrepreneurial support and cultivating new private capital sources. To date, BioGenerator has funded 40 bioscience startups and leveraged $140 million in additional financing from a $5.5 million nonprofit investment -- a ratio that exceeds 25:1. Additionally, the BioGenerator Accelerator Labs, a pre-incubator facility, is a unique model for creating capital efficient companies.

UND Center for Innovation Foundation - Increasing Access to Capital Category
As one of the first university-affiliated entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation, the University of North Dakota (UND) Center for Innovation Foundation has created a vibrant and diverse capital initiative tailored to the unique needs of a rural economy. With a strong continuum of programs that bring together state tax incentives, two federal programs (SBIR, EB-5), angel investors, and student-managed venture funds, the UND Center for Innovation helps technology-based entrepreneurs diversify the state's economy and create jobs. This initiative has successfully launched nine angel investment funds and six more are under development. In five years, those nine funds have invested $24.3 million in 38 ventures.

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center - Improving Competitiveness of Existing Industries
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is fulfilling the vision of the state's 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative by funding translational life sciences research, making financial investments in promising companies and new technologies, ensuring next-generation life sciences workers have skills that are well-aligned with industry needs, and building partnerships between sectors of the local and international life sciences communities. Sustained political support and leveraging existing strengths of the region are key elements to the MLSC's success. Since 2008, the MLSC has directly invested or committed more than $467 million and leveraged more than $1 billion in third-party investment -- creating a public-private investment fund of more than $1.6 billion for the state's life sciences ecosystem.

ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group - Most Promising TBED Initiative Category
ASU's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group (EIG) has developed four innovative programs designed to bring together the Greater Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem, attract new partners, and create thriving startups inside and outside the university. EIG's creative use of existing resources and strong public and private sector support serves as a promising model for entrepreneurial and technology commercialization initiatives throughout the country. A technology transfer accelerator, a co-working network embedded in the public library system, and a startup school taught by practitioners are among the programs offered by EIG.

Recipients of the award were selected through a competitive process by a national panel of experts in the field. Over the past seven years SSTI has recognized 38 initiatives for their successful efforts to support the creation and growth of technology companies.

About SSTI
The State Science and Technology Institute is a national nonprofit organization that leads, supports and strengthens efforts to improve state and regional economies through science, technology and innovation. www.ssti.org

Contact Information:

Rhiannon Skipper
State Science and Technology Institute
Phone: 614.901.1690