The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association has released its policy agenda for the 2021 legislative session. The association says Indiana’s tech sector saw more than 184,000 net jobs this year, creating an economic impact of $15.6 billion. However, the pandemic has been detrimental to innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the state, according to the ITIA.
As a result, the association’s priorities will focus on “shoring up support for state programs and efforts that facilitate entrepreneurs, drive new business creation, help grow tech and innovation jobs and attract tech talent to fuel our state’s economic recovery.”
The priorities were outlined Thursday during a virtual presentation:
“Ensuring Indiana’s entrepreneurs and startups have access to capital, talent and resources to grow companies and create jobs is more urgent now than ever before as our state and local economies work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Becker, board chair of the ITIA and chief executive officer of Fishers-based First Internet Bank. “Now is the time to double down on Indiana’s support for entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and small businesses as an engine to fuel our recovery, and ensure that Indiana is best positioned to welcome the tech jobs and workers of the future.”
Additionally, the association’s priorities include expanding access to capital for tech companies, growing the tech talent pipeline, enhancing quality of life and place throughout the state, and improving diversity, inclusion and equity.
Some of the specific policies outlined for the next legislative session include:
- Encourage robust investment in the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which funds critical and proven programs to support entrepreneurs and early-stage tech companies, including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
- Strengthen commitment to the Venture Capital Investment tax credit program by raising the annual cap and supporting future expansions of the program to better compete with neighboring states that offer larger credits.
- Continued funding and resources to help Indiana schools meet the requirement to provide computer science education by 2021.
- Implement state- and local-based incentives for attracting individuals to move to Indiana who can work remotely, i.e. clarify that remote workers are eligible for EDGE tax credits.
- Continued support for high performing Certified Tech Parks (CTPs), and reauthorization of Indiana’s Entrepreneur and Enterprise District programs to encourage, develop and support entrepreneurship and small business development.
- Identify and remove barriers to developing, testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technology.
- Require State-funded entities, such as the IEDC, Elevate Ventures, and Next Level Fund, that invest in Indiana businesses or venture funds receiving state dollars to record and report annually on the number of investments and the amount of money invested into women, minority and veteran owned companies.
You can view the ITIA’s full list of legislative priorities in the document below or by clicking here.