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Egils Milbergs
Washington DC and Seattle
Experienced leader and policy maker in economic development, competitiveness, innovation and start-ups.
Interests: innovation ecosystems, water technology, strategic planning, technology commercialization, public-private partnerships, policy-making and leadership
Recent Activity
On June 7, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (Usica) -- a $250 billion bill that hopes to counter China's ascendancy in a range of technologies. USICA could be considered by the House in the next several weeks, according to CNBC. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6813514115378630656/ https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/the-united-states-innovation-and-competition-act-usica-a-primer/#ixzz6ydJiTkgr https://www.inc.com/peter-cohan/250-billion-us-innovation-competition-act-could-help-your-business.html https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/08/senate-passes-bipartisan-tech-and-manufacturing-bill-aimed-at-china.html https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/08/statement-of-president-joe-biden-on-senate-passage-of-the-u-s-innovation-and-competition-act/ https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2021/06/us-needs-tech-agency-compete-china-think-tank-says/174801/ Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2021 at Innovation Ecosystems
Today, the Council on Competitiveness issued a call to action and roadmap for America to increase its innovation capacity tenfold (10X). This goal is set in the firm belief that the nation's long-term growth in productivity and inclusive prosperity requires placing greater attention on innovation to confer a competitive advantage. They released a report--Competing in the Next Economy. -- with 50 recommendations developed over the past 15 months with a sixty-member advisory team. Competing in the Next Economy raises the alarm that "warning lights are flashing" in terms of America's historic position as the world leader in innovation, threatening the nation's competitive future in the global economy. The report also serves as a roadmap for local, state and national policymakers to come together with the private sector to focus in a bold and transformational way on all efforts to optimize the United States for a new, unfolding, challenging innovation reality.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The Opportunity Zone tax incentive was conceived as a tool to promote economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and support for new businesses in areas of concentrated poverty. After a couple of years of sizable investments flowing into these newly designated zones, Smart Growth America wanted to take look at the impact. Are these investments supporting small business stability and growth, achieving the stated goal of place-based economic development and job creation in distressed communities? If not, why not? And what are the risks and rewards specifically for minority-owned legacy businesses within Opportunity Zones? Unrealized Gains takes a close look at these questions, and specifically the impact on the minority-owned and legacy businesses that form the social fabric of many neighborhoods in these areas. It examines Opportunity Zone activity and investment trends in four cities in different regions: Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Louisville, Kentucky; and Washington, DC. The authors interviewed... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
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Learn how Opportunity Zones are transforming neighborhoods in Baltimore. Despite the COVID 19 crisis entrepreneurs and investors are moving forward with revitalization projects and innovative public-private partnerships. This webinar highlights the people who are leading OZ initiatives in Baltimore. Panelists share strategies, insights, market information. and the impact their projects are having in low-income neighborhoods. LINK to WEBINAR PANEL ONE: The Big OZ Picture in Baltimore Ben Seigel, Baltimore Opportunity Zone Coordinator, Baltimore Development Corporation Frank Dickson, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Michele Whelley, President & CEO, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore Brian Darmody, CEO, Association of University Research Parks (AURP) PANEL TWO: Project Initiatives Transforming OZ Neighborhoods David Bramble, Managing Partner, MCB Real Estate Bill Struever, Cross Street Partners, Penn Station Project Leonard Mills, CEO, Verte Opportunity Fund Brendan Schreiber. Schreiber Brothers, North Avenue Workforce Housing Moderators: Egils Milbergs, CEO, Center for Accelerating Innovation... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
Council of Economic Advisors has released a report assessing the impact of the Opportunity Zone tax incentive. The CEA finds that the OZ tax cuts have spurred a large investment response. This report estimates that Qualified Opportunity Funds raised $75 billion in private capital by the end of 2019, most of which would not have entered OZs without the incentive. This new capital represents 21 percent of total annual investment in OZs and helps explain why the CEA also finds that private equity investment in OZ businesses grew 29 percent relative to the comparison group of businesses in eligible communities that were not selected as OZs Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
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Join us online to learn how Opportunity Zones are transforming neighborhoods in Baltimore. Despite the COVID 19 crisis entrepreneurs and investors are moving forward with revitalization projects and innovative public-private partnerships. This live ZOOM event will highlight the people who are leading OZ initiatives in Baltimore. Panelists will share strategies, insights, market information. and the impact their projects are having in low-income neighborhoods. LINK to WEBINAR PANEL ONE: The Big OZ Picture in Baltimore Ben Seigel, Baltimore Opportunity Zone Coordinator, Baltimore Development Corporation Frank Dickson, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Michele Whelley, President & CEO, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore Brian Darmody, CEO, Association of University Research Parks (AURP) PANEL TWO: Project Initiatives Transforming OZ Neighborhoods David Bramble, Managing Partner, MCB Real Estate Bill Struever, Cross Street Partners, Penn Station Project Leonard Mills, CEO, Verte Opportunity Fund Brendan Schreiber. Schreiber Brothers, North Avenue Workforce Housing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
A team of researchers New York University and MIT have published a draft paper presenting an analysis on the effect of Opportunity Zones (OZs) on employment outcomes. Rachel M. B. Atkins New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior Pablo Hernandez-Lagos New York University, Abu Dhabi Cristian Jira-Figueroa Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Robert Seamans New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business The analysis matches zip codes with OZs to a control group of similar zip codes that do not have any OZs and compare job postings and posted salaries across these two groups over time. Zip codes with OZs have fewer job postings but higher posted salaries, though both effects are very small in magnitude. Additionally, the research explored the extent to which the results are driven by OZs. About 8700 census tracts were designated as OZs in 2018, yet it appears... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $1 billion in awards for the establishment of 12 new artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) research institutes nationwide. The $1 billion will go towards NSF-led AI Research Institutes and DOE QIS Research Centers over five years, establishing 12 multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional national hubs for research and workforce development in these critical emerging technologies. Together, the institutes will spur cutting edge innovation, support regional economic growth, and advance American leadership in these critical industries of the future. "Today, the Trump Administration is making an unprecedented investment to strengthen American leadership in AI and quantum, and to ensure the Nation benefits from these emerging technologies. Built upon the uniquely American free market approach to technological advancement, these institutes will be world-class hubs for accelerating American... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) today released a report on the economic impact of the opportunity zones (OZ) incentive. The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial Assessment estimates that qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) raised $75 billion in private capital by the end of 2019, most of which may not have occurred in OZs without the incentive. This private capital from QOFs represents 21 percent of total annual investment in OZs. The CEA also finds that private equity investment in OZ businesses grew 29 percent compared to businesses in eligible communities not designated as OZs. The report finds that every $1 raised by QOFs under the OZ incentive had a direct forgone federal revenue effect of 15 cents and projects that the capital already raised by QOFs could decrease poverty in OZs by 11 percent, lifting 1 million people out of poverty. The Trump campaign announced that it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
Christie Moffat of Bisnow reports that Opportunity zones are not providing the economic and community development benefits to underfunded neighborhoods that the program was intended for, according to a new report from the Urban Institute. The report was based on anecdotal evidence rather than hard data. Researchers conducted interviews with 70 stakeholders in opportunity zone investing around the U.S., including project sponsors, fund managers, investors, wealth managers, developers, philanthropies, and public and nonprofit agencies working with opportunity zones. The study was funded by a grant from JPMorgan Chase. The majority of opportunity zone capital appears to be flowing into real estate, not into operating businesses, the report found. Interviewees attributed this to various program design constraints and the undesirability of selling equity from both the business owners' and the investors' perspective. Feedback from interviewees also suggested that most developers and investors view opportunity zone incentives as providing a relatively small... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) released the results of a national survey on the state of the Opportunity Zones (OZ) marketplace. The survey polled a range of leading stakeholders to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Opportunity Zone transactions and investor behavior. EIG's survey click here. While 52 percent of respondents report that current market conditions are having a negative impact on activities, 58 percent are optimistic about the future of the Opportunity Zones marketplace. Disruption and uncertainty sowed by the pandemic arrived just as increased regulatory clarity, higher levels of investment, and emerging market norms combined in early 2020 to create strong headwinds and encourage broader participation from a diverse group of stakeholders. However, responses are evidence of the underlying resiliency of a market made for long-term investing. Seventy-one percent of respondents affirm that investors remain interested, and nearly half say investors are actively looking for opportunities to place... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
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Sharing with you the important work of Leonard Marcus at Harvard's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. See excerpt below from website: https://npli.sph.harvard.edu/about/ The Meta-Leadership framework and practice method has been developed by faculty at the NPLI after extensive research on and observation of leaders in high-stress, high-stakes situations. It is designed to provide individuals with tools that are conceptually and practically rigorous so that they are better equipped to act and direct others in emergency situations. Meta-leadership is currently being used by leaders in the fields of homeland security, emergency preparedness and response, and public health in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Achievement of national preparedness — given current natural and man-made threats — requires a heightened capacity for effective cross-government coordination of effort as well as cross-sector collaboration with private and non-profit organizations. This objective is hindered by the tendency of leaders to advocate the specific interests and purposes... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides the Economic Development Administration (EDA) with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau's flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. On May 7, 2020, Secretary Wilbur Ross made EDA's CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding available with the announcement that EDA had published an Addendum to its FY 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity. EDA intends to deploy its CARES Act funding as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible, and in a manner that meets communities needs. EDA RESOURCES EDA CARES... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (WHORC) has delivered their Opportunity Zones Best Practices Report to the President. Click here to read the full report. The new report is organized into five sections: Best practices of local government and other local community stakeholders, and references to the Council's Community Toolkit. Several cities are identified as national leaders in the OZ space, including Birmingham AL, Erie PA, Charleston SC, Lafayette LA, Kannapolis NC, Atlanta GA, Cleveland OH, Philadelphia PA, Little Rock AR, and Pine Bluff AR. State-level actions taken to benefit Opportunity Zones, including numerous legislative bills and executive orders. How foundations, nonprofits, and private financial institutions like MasterCard and Citi have made an impact in Opportunity Zones, providing support to OZ communities and investors who seek to make positive social and economic impact. Best practices for Qualified Opportunity Funds, including overviews of numerous specific deals taking place around the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
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The national lock down to control the spread of COVID 19 highlights a critical weakness in our public health system: it is reactive and slow in rolling out diagnostic testing for COVID-19. This leaves everyone (i.e. public officials, pundits, experts, media, citizens) wondering how big the outbreak is, the curve, the peak and where it is going next. There are confusing signals coming from the White House, NIH, CDC, health departments, local hospitals, and public officials on who to prioritize, where, when, and how often people need to be tested. There are questions about the accuracy of the tests, particularly the antibody test. The data we have now is post symptomatic and probably misses vast numbers of people who have contracted the disease. The lack of comprehensive, real time proactive data has made opening up the economy a challenge by state, region and community. A mistake could mean reinfection and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2020 at Innovation Ecosystems
The Annual Conference for the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Alliance was held September 8-11th. Portland, Oregon. It was bustling with over a thousand attendees, 161 technical presentations and 50 exhibitors. Three High school teams that competing for the Stockholm Water Prize presented on their projects. PureBlue (www.pureblue.org) participated in committee sessions including: Government Affairs, Sustainability, Communications and Outreach and Emerging Technologies. Exhibitors were briefed on the Wellspring Conference to be held October 24-25 in Tacoma, Washington. Link to website: www.wellspringconf.org PNCWA sessions tended to be very operational covering a variety of topics including: Sustainable biosolids management Fostering collaboration and innovation Equitable access to clean water and sanitation New approaches in sludge processing Social equity and workforce development Resource recovery in fuels and energy Real time monitoring of collections systems and failure detection District level stormwater infrastructure Novel food waste processing The role of women in the water industry Remote management... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2019 at Innovation Ecosystems
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When: Thursday, June 13, 2019, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM Where: Russell Senate Office Building, Room 485, Washington DC RSVP: rboege@comcast.net Experts from Congress, White House, state government, business, research organizations and non-profits will discuss the latest developments and impact of Opportunity Zones (OZ's) on distressed communities. Created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones are designed to drive long-term capital into low-income communities using tax incentives to encourage private investment into designated census tracts through privately- or publicly managed investment funds. The Treasury Department has approved 8760 such zones in all 50 states, five territories, and Washington, D.C. Topics: how financing will work, eligible asset classes, linking innovation to OZ's, state and local government roles, economic development implications, job creation, infrastructure improvements, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship and start-ups, sustainability, beyond real estate deals. Scheduled speakers include: · Dr. Robert Palazzo, Chair of the Alliance for Science &... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2019 at Innovation Ecosystems
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced at their mega CES2019 event in Las Vegas that 16 out of 61 countries are leading the world in having the best environment for innovation according to its new 2019 International Innovation Scorecard. This year's Innovation Champions are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the CTA keynote, the Netherlands' State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer, the U.K.'s Secretary of State for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox and Estonia's Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps joined Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, onstage to accept the Innovation Champion awards on behalf of their countries. "These countries are world-class leaders in growing innovation," said Shapiro. "When it comes to technology and policy, they value disruptive innovators. To be leaders in innovation, nations must drop... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2019 at Innovation Ecosystems
As part of its "Return on Investment" initiative, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a draft blueprint for revamping policies that govern the commercialization of technologies produced through federally funded R&D projects ($150 billion a year). The Return on Investment (ROI) Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation is part of a Trump Administration effort to advance the Lab-to-Market cross agency priority (CAP) goal of the President's Management Agenda (PMA). The ROI Initiative's goal is to maximize the transfer of Federal investments in science and technology into value for America in ways that will (a) meet current and future economic and national security needs in a rapidly shifting technology marketplace and enhance U.S. competitiveness globally, and (b) attract greater private sector investment to create innovative products, processes, and services, as well as new businesses and industries. NIST released a Green Paper described as a "discussion document," the report summarizes... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2019 at Innovation Ecosystems
The vigil for Tahlequah, the mother orca who carried her dead calf around for days, is a message and a call to action. Scientists have concluded that a large part of the blame for the decline in orca population and related salmon runs lies in the water quality of Puget Sound—contaminants, toxic chemicals and noise. Healthy water means we must have a healthy water infrastructure. The fact is our water infrastructure is under stress. It is aging and not keeping up with a fast-growing population, extreme weather events, waste discharges, stormwater runoff, new contaminants, vessel traffic, earthquake risks and cyberattacks. Our economic dynamism is also at stake. About one-third of Puget Sound economic output and jobs are water dependent. It is estimated that $23 billion of water infrastructure projects are on the books but financing this investment is unclear. We are at an inflection point-- we pursue incremental improvements or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at Innovation Ecosystems
Google for Entrepreneurs partners with ten tech hubs around North America to help local startup communities thrive. The tech hubs are located in Minneapolis, Chicago, Waterloo, Nashville, Durham, Denver, Detroit, Montreal, San Francisco, Austin, and Mexico City. These partners are technology leaders in their community and a natural home for Google communities like Google Developer Groups and Google Business Groups. Tech hubs provide a venue for developers and the wider tech community to engage directly with companies and training partners like Google. They host a range of events, workshops, and provide coworking space for entrepreneurs. Google for Entrepreneurs enables tech hubs by providing them with technical content, business tools, and infrastructure upgrades so that they can support increasing demand from developers and startups. This year, ten selected startups from each of these spaces will have the opportunity to pitch their companies to an audience of Silicon Valley investors as part... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2017 at Innovation Ecosystems
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READ FULL REPORT The U.S. Council on Competitiveness' latest sector study, co-led by A.O. Smith Corporation and Marquette University, reveals challenges faced by water users in the manufacturing sector, where nearly half of industry water consumption is attributed. Leverage: Water and Manufacturing found that to meet increasing water demand, innovation in infrastructure, technology, investment and talent are needed to overcome challenges resulting from urbanization and population growth. The Council, through its Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership (EMCP), partnered with Marquette and A. O. Smith to hold the initial sector study dialogue on water & manufacturing on February 16, 2016 at Marquette. The dialogue gathered over 50 national leaders and water experts from all sectors of the economy to discuss the important issues around water and manufacturing. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at Innovation Ecosystems
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YOUR ARE INVITED to a special networking and dinner program at the Rainier Club in Seattle on the looming global water crisis. We may be able to survive without oil, but not without water. Water is an essential ingredient for life on this planet—yet in places it is too abundant or too scarce. More than a billion individuals—one in seven people on the planet—lack access to safe drinking water and risk life-threatening illnesses. Water resources in Washington state are impacted by climate change, drought, diminished salmon runs, flooding, stormwater runoff and lead contamination. The opportunity to innovate to meet these challenges is here. Cities like Milwaukee have made clean water technologies a centerpiece of their global marketing, entrepreneurship and job creation strategies. Come hear from key business, government and non-profit leaders as they discuss strategies for Washington state unleashing innovation and moving towards a future of CLEAN, SUSTAINABLE AND SAFE... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2016 at Innovation Ecosystems
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We may be able to survive without oil, but not without water. That's why climate change, drought, salmon runs, flooding, stormwater and lead contamination are in the news and have become such hot button issues. No matter how you look at it, something must be done. Come hear from key business, government and non-profit leaders as they discuss strategies for unleashing innovation and moving towards a future of CLEAN, SUSTAINABLE AND SAFE WATER. Speakers and panelists include: Ray Hoffman, Director of Seattle Public Utilities Rob Duff, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Inslee on natural resource and environmental issues Ryan Vogel, Executive Director of Pure Blue Clean Water Innovation Initiative and founder of Pure Blue Tech, Inc. Egils Milbergs, CEO of the Center for Accelerating Innovation and former Executive Director of the Washington Economic Development Commission, will be moderator of the event. To request a reservation for this event, please contact... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2016 at Innovation Ecosystems
The partnership team behind the Clean Water Innovation Initiative (CWII) unveiled their commitment to build an entrepreneurial infrastructure and national virtual network to help the nation address water issues during the White House Water Summit held in Washington DC. The Clean Water Innovation Initiative, along with its 17 founding business, government, non-profit, and research partners, is launching an EPA Water Innovation Cluster to serve the Puget Sound region in Washington. The Cluster will include three major components: (1) a physical technology-development accelerator; (2) an early (seed) stage grant/loan/equity fund to finance entrepreneurial start-ups; and (3) a national virtual network of water-industry incubators and clusters. Ryan Vogel, executive director of CWII announced that the Initiative will, over the next three years, work with its 30 vertically and horizontally integrated water-industry partners to support 10 companies through the accelerator and provide $2 million in seed funding. Egils Milbergs, CEO of the Center... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2016 at Innovation Ecosystems