The High Tech Agenda keeps the High Tech Council’s members and partners up to date on its pro-growth advocacy concerning state and federal public policies and programs in support of its mission.
The goal of the Massachusetts High Technology Council is to help make Massachusetts the world’s most attractive place in which to live and work, and in which to create, operate, and grow high technology businesses. Read our Mission Statement.
Council Congratulates Governor-Elect Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor-Elect Karyn Polito
The Massachusetts High Tech Council congratulates Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito on their election as the next Governor and Lt. Governor of Massachusetts.
Charlie has been a longtime friend of –and collaborator with–the Council, from his service as the Council’s corporate communications director in the early 1980s through his work for the Weld and Cellucci administrations and later at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Charlie has the experience, talent and proven leadership skills to work effectively with job creators and the Legislature to expand the state’s economy by championing policies that build on our strengths and address our competitive challenges head on.
We would also like to thank Governor Patrick for his leadership and public service over the past eight years. The Council is pleased to have collaborated with his administration on a variety of initiatives that strengthened our Commonwealth, including the passage of the landmark education reform bill in 2010 to expand the number of Charter Schools and the establishment of the Massachusetts Military Asset and Strategy Task Force.
We look forward to working closely with Charlie and Karyn in the days and weeks to come. The Council’s mission is closely aligned with Charlie’s, and we are eager to prepare the administration to move quickly to address key challenges, creates a more business friendly and competitive climate for job creators, and provide leadership in support of state and federal policies that encourage growth throughout our technology economy.
2014 Election Impact on Beacon Hill
The make-up of the Massachusetts legislature will change slightly as the State Senate adds two new Republican members giving the GOP 6 senators to the Democratic party’s 34. State Representative Vinny deMacedo won the open Plymouth- based seat being vacated by Senate President Therese Murray and State Rep. Ryan Fattman defeated 18-year incumbent Democratic Senator Dick Moore of Uxbridge. The House balance will be 126 Democrats and 34 Republicans.
Council Fall Policy Survey Outcomes in-line with Statewide Election Results
Member responses to the Council’s Fall 2014 Public Policy Survey conducted in September indicated strong support and affirmation of the Council’s ongoing focus on three key policy areas: Talent Development and Education; Research and Innovation; and Cost Competitiveness. Building off the results of the survey, the Council’s policy teams are convening to identify and advance high impact policy proposals that have the potential to advance the Council’s mission in a meaningful way.
These themes were reflected in voter preferences in the gubernatorial race. One interesting result of our survey foreshadowed the passage of Question 1 repealing the automatic gas tax increases approved as part of the same 2013 bill that contained the short-lived “Tech Tax”. While overwhelmingly supporting long-overdue investment in road and bridge improvements, a slim majority of Council members were opposed to automatic increases. The Council will be working to ensure policymakers select, construct and operate transportation infrastructure projects with fiscal prudence and the recognition that available resources are necessarily limited.
The Council policy teams continue to support the development of the Massachusetts’ Technology, Talent and Economic Reporting System or MATTERS. MATTERS is a digital tool designed to assess Massachusetts’ competitive position among leading technology states while providing policy makers with information critical to developing public policy that attracts and retains businesses to the state. MATTERS consolidates a collection of independent national rankings along with key cost, economic and talent metrics into a single source for use by all parties interested in building a successful future for Massachusetts’ technology-based businesses. The functional prototype has been developed under the direction of Worcester Polytechnic Institute faculty and students. We look forward to launching this resource to the public at our 2015 annual meeting early next year.
The Council supports the type of education reforms a clear majority of survey respondents identified as a top priority. The Council will prioritize the adoption of state policies that encourage the proliferation and success of start-up ventures in the state and will advocate for improvements to the state R&D tax credit. The Council will also place a priority on advancing policies that help grow the Massachusetts economy and support employment expansion by eliminating anti-competitive taxes, policies and regulations and other barriers to private-sector growth.
These priorities serve as the framework for our 2015 policy advocacy agenda and will inform all of our interactions with elected officials and policymakers.
Member Engagement Opportunities
Active engagement by our members is the fuel that powers the High Tech Council’s public policy success and impact. Through member involvement, we identify priority initiatives and drive their advancement in ways that create return on investment for our members. As we prepare for a new governor and legislative session in January, the Council is again poised to impact the public debate with data, analysis, and innovative ideas that are high priorities among our members.
The Council’s mission-critical teams and working groups present a wide range of engagement opportunities for talented subject matter experts from your organization to get involved and have impact. We urge you to join one or more of these teams or consider recommending a senior executive within your organization to do so.
Detailed information about six of our key policy and program teams and the work they are engaged in can be found HERE. We hope you will review each team summary and let us know who from your organization should be identified as a team member.
Council Digital Media Initiatives
Effectively communicating the Council’s collective impact is critical to advancing our mission and generating value for Council members. The Council recently launched exciting new communications initiatives and is working with members to help activate them. We welcome the leadership of Bill Schick, the Founder and Chief Digital Officer of MESH, who is providing his expertise as the Council’s EVP of Digital.
The Council established a new Twitter handle, @mahightech and will increasingly use Twitter to communicate information about our pro-growth advocacy agenda, collaborate with other organizations, and amplify Council members’ own social media efforts and communications. Please take the time to ensure that your organization is following us on Twitter and to follow us on your personal account as well.
The Council also activated its newly redesigned website. The new design, content and member engagement features were created by MESH and we encourage you to visit mhtc.org to keep updated on Council news and events and to get involved in Council initiatives.
We look forward to using these new communications initiatives to reinforce the Council’s position as a technology sector thought leader, broaden the reach of our voice on issues that are critical to the success of the technology community, and add value for the Council’s member organizations by amplifying their key communications messages and initiatives.
We encourage you or your communications professional to contact Mark Gallagher at the Council to explore how you can actively participate.
New England Tech Vets: Celebrating Successes and Honoring Veterans
November 11 is Veterans Day, a time when many Americans pay particular attention to honoring our veterans and their families. Through the November 11 holiday, the Council is using Twitter to communicate facts about the New England Tech Vets program, share stories of veteran employment successes and challenges and generally honor our veterans’ service and sacrifice. The Council is also re-Tweeting communications from Council members and program partners about their veteran employment initiatives and veteran-related programs and information. If your organization would like to participate in our Veterans Day media campaign, please send information regarding your veteran-related initiatives to Mark Gallagher at email@example.com.
New England Tech Vets is already serving veterans and paying dividends for participating employers. A great testimonial comes from Ironsides Technology who recently hired its first Tech Vets-sourced employee. “We found a number of qualified candidates and had excellent interviews with the final three – each of whom could do the job” said Ironsides President Bill Riley. “The research filter made it possible to proactively identify and contact qualified candidates. For us, this non-traditional method of reaching qualified candidates worked great, and we won’t hesitate to utilize the same strategy as we look to hire additional staff in 2015.” We look forward to hearing more success stories like this and hope you will share them with us.
Council CEO Roundtable: UMASS Drives Research through Industry Partnerships
On October 28, Council members joined UMASS President Robert Caret and the Chancellors of UMASS Amherst, UMASS Lowell and UMASS Medical for a CEO Roundtable. Council members gathered at the offices of event-host Cubist Pharmaceuticals to hear a compelling story about the UMASS System’s expanding role in encouraging and conducting research.
UMASS research and development investments have grown almost 70% since 2005, from $350M to $600M annually and the system’s technology commercialization initiatives a generate $30M to $40M in revenue annually. The UMASS System and its campuses have displayed a special commitment to building partnerships with industry, government and other universities, driven in part by the success of the High Tech Council’s advocacy in support of creating the state’s first matching grant fund in support of collaborative research proposals in 2003.
Members were particularly interested hearing from Chancellors Kumble Subbaswamy, Marty Meehan and Michael Collins about how UMASS Amherst, UMASS Lowell and UMASS Medical are partnering with industry and each other to conduct innovative research, unlock investment and growth opportunities and catalyze talent and workforce development.
The Chancellors highlighted current partnerships including the M2D2 medical device development collaboration among UMASS Lowell, UMASS Medical and industry players, UMASS Medical’s partnerships with Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Voyager Therapeutics, the Amherst campus’ multi-partner polymer research program and the Raytheon UMASS Lowell Research Institute.
The Council is committed to working with UMASS and our private research institutions to foster continued collaboration and alignment between the UMASS higher education system and the technology sector. We foresee valuable opportunities to engage technology sector leaders to ensure our academic partners are aligned with the state’s economic development priorities and to support the expansion of high-ROI state policies, such as matching grant funds that support competitive and collaborative research center projects.
STBI Government Contracting “How To” Event
On October 23, the Council’s Small Technology Business Initiative joined with Hewlett Packard to host more than 30 attendees at a “how to” event on government contracting. Members had the opportunity to engage officials from the Massachusetts Operational Services Division and Hanscom Air Force Base’s Small Business Office and gain insight on how to initiate and foster a business relationship with state and federal government.
Council Welcomes New Members:
During the past 2 years, the Council has welcomed more than 75 additional member CEOs and senior executives to our team. We’re proud to welcome the following organizations who have recently joined:
- Brandeis University
- EMD Millipore
- Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
- Harvard BioScience
- The Kraft Group
- Rail Pod
Council Mourns Passing of Mayor Menino
The Council joins Massachusetts citizens in mourning the passing of former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston history. We applaud and recognize Mayor Menino’s lifelong commitment to improving the lives of Bostonians by expanding and improving educational and economic opportunities for all. His commitment to Boston’s school children, embrace of the city’s business community and relentless focus on constant improvement in city operations are reflected in the transformational changes in Boston’s economy and culture during his tenure as Mayor. See the Council’s full statement on the Mayor HERE.
They Said It
“No one is more anxious to get started building a great Commonwealth of Massachusetts than I am and Karyn Polito is. So let’s get it done” Governor-elect Charlie Baker, November 5, 2014.
Upcoming Council Events
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Cost Competitiveness Policy Team Meeting
Location: Council offices
The Council’s Cost Competitiveness Policy Team leads the Council’s efforts to assess and improve the quality of the Massachusetts business climate in relation to its chief competitor states, performs high-level analysis of corporate tax rates and other business cost data and identifies top policy priorities.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
New England Tech Vets Employer Advisory Committee Meeting
Location: Council offices
The New England Tech Vets Employer Advisory Committee engages our team from Monster and Home Base, along with HR professionals from participating member employers and higher education partners. The Committee supports the programs Veteran Recruitment objectives.
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Talent Development Policy Team Meeting
Location: Council offices
The Talent Development Policy Team determines the Council’s education and workforce development priorities and initiatives.
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
MHTC Healthcare Reform Employer Update Webinar
Location: Council offices
Join us for an exclusive member update webinar on healthcare reform with Spring Insurance Group CEO, George Gonser. Learn what you need to know about recent Affordable Care Act changes, upcoming compliance issues and find out exactly how the ACA will impact your business as we head into 2015.
Please click here for more information and registration instructions.
November 20 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
December 18 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
New England TechVets WebEx
Location: Online session
The Council and its program partner, Monster Worldwide, Inc. will be hosting periodic WebEx training sessions for interested members and their recruiting staff to provide an overview of the features and functionality of www.NewEnglandTechvets.org. To register and receive WebEx instructions for the November 20th session, please click here.
December 1 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
CEO Roudtable with Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg
Location: Council Offices
Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg will provide attendees with his perspective on the policy issues facing the Commonwealth today and share his vision and priorities as he prepares to become President of the State Senate in 2015. To register, please click here or RSVP to Julie Champion.
Board of Directors
View our Board of Directors.