The proposal, called the New England Medical Innovation Center, would be a for-profit enterprise, but also a consortium of various nonprofit partners, according to its chief architects, Peter J. Snyder and Aiden Petrie.
Snyder is the senior vice president and chief research officer at Lifespan. Petrie is the co-founder and the chief innovation officer of Ximedica.
The enterprise they described in a 30-minute presentation to the I-195 commission would include collaborations among university partners on research, on a shared master's degree program, on medical device innovation and in professional development.
"We see enormous opportunity," Snyder said.
Petrie described the approach as almost a "mutual fund approach" to economic and business development. While it would pursue a broad scope of medical innovation and design, Snyder and Petrie told commissioners they envisioned the medical device industry as being the focus of its commercial applications.
The project, in total, was estimated by the men at $4 million. Snyder and Petrie said they could launch within six to 12 months.
They are seeking a location for the innovation center in the I-195 Redevelopment District, with an initial space need of about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, Snyder said. He said the medical innovation center, which will have to finalize its partnership agreements and incorporate itself, as well as hire staff, would be seeking some state incentives.
Outside the meeting, he would not specify a figure, but said initially, the group is seeking startup space in the 1 Ship St. building, which is to become a part of the Wexford Science & Technology campus, and home to Johnson & Johnson in Rhode Island.
The medical innovation center would be seeking to leverage partnerships with multiple institutions across Rhode Island, including universities and hospitals, as well as with private businesses and entrepreneurs, Snyder said. The broader purpose would be to create new, successful businesses and act as a hub in the region for investors and companies operating in the medical technology, design and innovation area.
When asked by I-195 commission's chairman, Joseph F. Azrack, if it would be competing with the Cambridge Innovation Center, which is in negotiations to join the Wexford campus, Snyder and Petrie said no, but that they could complement its activities.]]>
The request, which is open to public comment through March 6, would allow the privately held shipyard to add two new docks to the west of its existing bulkhead, and to extend its other docks to allow more room, according to the CRMC.
The expansion of roughly 23,500 square feet is not expected to increase its vessel count, according to Laura Dwyer, a CRMC spokeswoman. The shipyard would still maintain a 34-boat count capacity, but the dock additions would allow it to accommodate larger yachts.
The expansion is subject to a memorandum of understanding between the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, which owns an adjoining site.
An official at the Newport Shipyard was not immediately available for comment on Monday.]]>
Moynihan received $18.5 million in stock grants for 2016, and the board left his salary unchanged at $1.5 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday. A year earlier, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank gave him a $16 million pay package, reflecting a raise of 23 percent. Moynihan hasn't received a cash bonus since 2007.
Moynihan, 57, has worked to boost the lender's profitability through cost reductions and by resolving litigation issues left over from the financial crisis. He increased profit by 13 percent to $17.9 billion in 2016, and said in April he'd cap expenses at $53 billion by the end of 2018, a $2 billion drop from last year.
Despite dialing back costs, Moynihan didn't achieve his long-term 60 percent efficiency ratio target in 2016. Bank of America, the second largest U.S. lender, ended the year with a 65 percent ratio of non-interest expense to net income, an improvement from 69 percent in 2015. The firm also hasn't achieved its 12 percent target for return on tangible common equity, which remained below 10 percent to end 2016.
Bank of America shares climbed 31 percent in 2016, the most among the largest U.S. deposit-taking lenders. The surge was due largely to a fourth-quarter rally in financial stocks fueled by investor expectations that Donald Trump's election would result in less regulation and lower taxes.]]>
Ocean State motorists faced a 1 cent per gallon increase over the week in the price of self-serve, unleaded regular gas, which averaged $2.24 per gallon on Monday. A year ago, the price of unleaded regular in Rhode Island was $1.76 per gallon, 48 cents lower than this week's price. In addition, the local gas price stands 4 cents below the national per gallon average of $2.28.
"Motorists are benefiting from the fact the prices are 7 cents less than at the start of this year," said Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast. "This comes as no surprise given the fact that historically, January and February are months of low demand for gasoline."
The range of prices for unleaded regular was $2.13-$2.41 per gallon. Other grades of gasoline had the following price ranges:
Midgrade unleaded, average of $2.52 per gallon, with range of $2.35-$2.69
Premium unleaded, $2.70 per gallon, range of $2.29-$2.89
Diesel, $2.53 per gallon, range of $2.39-$2.64
Bay State drivers saw the price of a gallon of self-serve, unleaded regular gasoline fall 1 cent to $2.18 per gallon; a year ago, it stood at $1.70 per gallon. It was the seventh consecutive week in which the price at the pump in Massachusetts has declined. The range of prices for regular was $2.07-$2.39 per gallon. Other grades' prices are as follows:
Midgrade unleaded, average of $2.44 per gallon, with range of $2.29-$2.65
Premium unleaded, $2.59 per gallon, range of $2.39-$2.86
Diesel, $2.55 per gallon, range of $2.45-$2.69]]>
The session, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Tech Collective in Providence, is expected to feature Jack Derby, who is an investor as well as an experienced business executive.
The business plan writing workshop is the latest in a series of events and educational sessions that the plan puts on prior to its initial application deadline. The competition will hold another free workshop March 9, at which entrepreneurs will be counseled on how best to make presentations to investors. Panelists for the March 9 workshop are expected to include Bob Maccini, managing director, Angel Street Investors; Lou Mazzucchelli, venture investor and entrepreneurship program coordinator at Bryant University; and Andrew Meadow, strategic marketing and business development executive.
The deadline for submitting initial business plans is April 3. Semi-finalists will then be notified April 11 and given another week to submit their final business plan by April 18. The winners are then identified in May.
For more information about the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2017 and to register for the Feb. 21 business plan writing workshop, click HERE.]]>
The R.I. Department of Environmental Management on Monday announced the schedule for the second annual six-day celebration, which aims to highlight the state's shellfish industry.
Participating restaurants and markets will feature quahog-related menu items, deals and special events. Quahogs, iconic to Rhode Island, are large clams.
"Whenever I go out to eat, I look for Rhode Island shellfish," said DEM Director Janet Coit in prepared remarks. "I know I'm not alone."
Organizers hope the festival, beginning on the first day of spring, will help draw attention to the shellfish industry during off-season months.
DEM counted more than 100 million pounds of seafood was landed last year with an export value of greater than $1 billion, including 28 million quahogs with an off-the-boat value of $5.5 million.
"Quahogging has a rich history locally, supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of fishers year-round, as well as serving as a treasured pastime for Rhode Island families," according to DEM.
Quahog Week kicks off on Monday, March 20, at Save The Bay in Providence. It finishes Saturday, March 25 at Narragansett Beer's new headquarters in Pawtucket. Festival partners include Dave's Marketplace, Discover Newport, Eat Drink RI, Go Providence, Isle Brewers Guild, Johnson & Wales University, Narragansett Beer, R.I. Commerce Corp., DEM, Rhode Island Shellfishermen's Association, Save The Bay and the University of Rhode Island.
"Quahog Week is our opportunity to step back and celebrate our wild-harvest shellfish, as well as our state's amazing array of eateries," Coit said. "I look forward to sampling the many tasty dishes that will be featured by our partner restaurants as well as preparing some of my own at home. I hope everyone joins in the fun during Quahog Week - and beyond."
The return of Quahog Week comes soon after the state and Providence announced the launch of A La Rhody, a year-long celebration of the Ocean State's culinary industry. A La Rhody kicks off March 1, and Quahog Week is one of the program's nine initial events.]]>
The average weekly wage measure in Providence County reached $993 in the second quarter of 2016, a 3.4 percent increase on the average a year earlier and the 73rd-highest increase among the nation's 344 largest counties. The nation saw a 2.2 percent climb in the average weekly wage. Rhode Island, including all five counties - Providence as well as Bristol, Kent, Newport and Washington - saw a 2.5 percent increase in average weekly wages over the period.
However, while Providence County's average weekly wage of $993 stood above the national average of $989 (ranked at No. 99 in the U.S.), the rest of the state fell below that level. Newport County led the rest of the state's small counties, with average weekly wages of $910, followed by Kent, with $858, Washington, with $831, and Bristol, with $793.
The highest average weekly wage in the nation was registered in Santa Clara County, Calif., at $2,252, while the highest gain, 21 percent, occurred in McLean County, Ill. And while 304 counties saw wage gains over the year, four remained the same and 36 saw declines, led by Ventura County, Calif., with a loss of 8.4 percent.
Providence was one of 291 of the 344 largest counties (those with employment of 75,000 or more as of June 2015) that showed a gain in employment over the 12-month period of 0.1 percent, registering 285,132 workers by June 2016, a rank of No. 287 in the nation. Overall, Rhode Island saw a 0.6 percent gain in employment year over year, although the U.S. posted a 1.5 percent gain in jobs to 142.7 million. The largest employment gain came in Williamson County, Tenn., at 6.7 percent, while the largest percentage decline came in Midland County, Texas, at 8.3 percent.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2016, Rhode Island employed 482,925 people. Aside from Providence County, the rest of the state employed the following number of people:
Kent County: 75, 692
Washington County: 55,155
Newport County: 41,087
Bristol County: 14,011]]>
While there are government directives in place to prevent that from happening, the number crunchers worry that the president's occasionally cavalier comments on the economy and economic statistics, and his apparent disdain for economists in general, could mean trouble ahead.
One month into his presidency, Trump has yet to nominate anyone to the Council of Economic Advisers, established in 1946 to provide presidents with objective economic analysis and advice. Indeed, staffers at the council complain that the White House seems to be giving short shrift to the regular reports they produce on the economy, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
There are rules that "protect the statistics from direct manipulation, but don't address all my concerns about independence," Brent Moulton, who retired in December after 32 years at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, wrote in a Jan. 24 blog post.
"For example, a Cabinet secretary could still order the statistical agency to drop certain statistics or to change methodologies in ways that seem politically expedient," he added in the piece, titled "Why I'm Concerned About the Independence of U.S. Statistical Agencies."
In what may be a sign that is happening, the Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that the Trump administration is considering changes that would make the U.S. trade deficit look bigger than currently reported. Citing unidentified people involved in the discussions, the newspaper said the new calculations could be presented to Congress, but that it wasn't clear if they would be included in official government data on the economy.
Trump has repeatedly accused past administrations of failing to protect America's interests on the trade front. Figures showing larger deficits would serve to buttress that argument and support the president's calls for retaliatory action against China and other U.S. trading partners.
The fears about data manipulation also arise from the nontraditional approach the Trump administration has taken to interpreting economic data. The president himself has repeatedly cast the "real" unemployment rate as far above the official rate, using figures that incorporate all those of working age who aren't employed.
"Don't believe these phony numbers," Trump told supporters of the jobless rate in early 2016. "The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35 [percent]. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent."
While this captures a broader swath of those without a job than the more well-known 4.8 percent jobless rate, it's misleading because it includes those who choose to be out of work for reasons including school, parenting, care for a family member, or retirement. In 2015 Trump said the U.S. had 93 million people out of work.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reinforced the skepticism during his Senate confirmation hearing, stating outright that the "unemployment rate is not real" - a view backed days later by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in a briefing with reporters.
"My biggest concern right now is about the unemployment statistics, just because the White House has been attacking them, and I know how demoralizing that can be to employees when your statistics are being attacked and when you don't have anyone at the agency level who can speak up for you and defend you," Moulton said in a telephone interview last month.
"I could view a situation, if that were to persist, where you could get employees leaving, finding other jobs and that sort of thing just because they find it demoralizing," he added.
Repeated questioning of an agency's credibility could hamper an already tough recruitment process, especially of younger workers who'll be especially needed as more baby boomers in the federal government leave the workforce.
Statistical agency veterans also worry that budget cutbacks could threaten the integrity of the economic data.
With Republicans promising big tax cuts coupled with fiscal prudence, the chances are increasing that they'll take the ax to budgets of various government agencies, including those involved in compiling economic data. Trump signed an executive memorandum on Jan. 23 to impose a hiring freeze on federal government agencies.
"I think we have in place, if someone's doing something that's inappropriate - pressured to fudge numbers or something like that, whatever it is - there's recourse to that for the career and civil servant, or someone who notices it and says something bad is going on," former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in a Jan. 13 interview in her Washington office during the final days of President Barack Obama's administration.
"What I worry about is funding to make sure that we have money to actually gather the data, and make sure that it's reliable and durable," she said.
In a sign that concern is not limited to one side of the political spectrum, the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute and liberal-leaning Brookings Institution are co-sponsoring a conference in Washington March 2 on the "Vital role of Government Statistics: Strengthening Research, Governance, and Innovation."
"The modern economy is more reliant on data than ever before," the think-tanks said in an email announcing the conference, with speakers that include economist Martin Feldstein, a former CEA chairman. "Without reliable information about the economic and social environment, making sensible choices that produce positive outcomes in commerce, research and governance is impossible."
University of Oregon professor Mark Thoma said he's worried that the Trump administration's championing of "alternative facts" could spread to the economic data if the economy turns sour.
"The worst thing he could do - and I see this as a real danger - would be to politicize the agencies that produce government economic data, to put people in place that will skew the numbers in his favor," Thoma said in a Jan. 24 commentary for CBS MoneyWatch. "If that happens, the data will be useless, and we'll essentially be flying blind when it comes to the true state of the economy."]]>
One of the key requests will expand the definition of a business that could seek refundable tax credits beyond C-corporations, to include S-corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships.
R.I. Commerce Corp. decided to seek an expansion of the eligibility for refundable investment tax credits after speaking with the state's manufacturers and their representative associations, according to Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor.
The state polled manufacturers through Polaris MEP, and found that 70 percent of manufacturing companies in Rhode Island are not incorporated as C-corporations, but instead primarily as S-corporations or LLCs, Pryor said.
In addition, the state will seek to relax the number of jobs that need to be created by companies to qualify for job-related tax credits.
For the past two years, Rhode Island has required companies seeking funds for jobs created under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit to create at least 10 jobs. A bill recently introduced would drop the requirement for job creation to five for manufacturers, Pryor said.
That incentive, created in 2016, allows employers to get a tax credit for up to $7,500 per job, per year, depending on the wage paid and the industry.
Dave Chenevert, the executive director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, said he was appreciative that Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and Commerce RI were responsive to concerns expressed by manufacturers. For the past year, he said, he's been speaking with Pryor about the challenges of the restrictions in the incentive statutes.
For a small manufacturer that employs 20 people, he said, which is the majority of employers in Rhode Island, a requirement to create 10 new jobs would be an "enormous number."
And, of the original orientation toward C-corporations: "I think there was not enough thought put into the makeup of who you're trying to help."
Chenevert is the former owner and manager of Swissline Precision Manufacturing Inc. & Swissline Products in Cumberland, a precision manufacturer serving the medical and aerospace industries.
In other initiatives, the administration is seeking to promote programs that could be used by advanced manufacturers. They include a new manufacturing tax credit, seeded with $3.2 million, which would allow manufacturers to obtain tax credits for investing in new equipment or by adding jobs.
The Innovation Voucher program will be expanded by $1.5 million, with a new focus on manufacturing research and development efforts.
Dell is the first title sponsor of the annual ATP World Tour event held at the Hall of Fame's home in Newport since Campbell's Soup was the 2011 title sponsor. The deal, which renames the event the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open for 2017-21, also calls for Dell to undertake a project to digitize the Hall of Fame's collection, which includes more than 25,000 artifacts of tennis history in addition to more than 300,000 photographs, video files, publications and scrapbooks from tennis legends.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dell Technologies as our new title sponsor, and we are very excited about this creative partnership," said Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. "The sponsorship enables us to continue to deliver a world-class professional tennis tournament in Newport, and to grow our work to preserve and promote the history of tennis. While all tennis fans may not be able to visit Newport, through this initiative, they will eventually be able to engage with our museum collection online and through other special programs, so that they can learn from and be inspired by the sport's history."
Dell EMC President David Goulden was effusive as well about the potential that the digitizing of the Hall of Fame's collection has. "We are also thrilled to play an important role in helping the Tennis Hall of Fame museum digitize and preserve its collection of artifacts from some of the most pivotal moments in tennis history for future generations to enjoy."
Concurrent with the tournament, which has been played in Newport annually since 1976 and which will take place July 16-23, the Hall of Fame holds its yearly induction ceremony. The July 22 event will enshrine former world No. 1 players Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick, Paralympic gold medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, tennis journalist and historian Steve Flink; and sports scientist Vic Braden (a posthumous honor).]]>