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State Tech and Science

State Technology and Science Index 2016: Sustaining America's Innovation Economy

Oct 24, 2016

As the Great Recession recedes in our rearview mirrors, it is becoming ever more apparent that innovative activities are determining an increasing proportion of the long-term economic growth of cities, metropolitan areas, regions, states, and even nations. Look no further than the Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Cities 2015” report for evidence that 13 of the top 25 metropolitan areas were technology centers. Among the leaders were San Jose, Seattle, Denver, Austin, and Raleigh—all with important high-technology clusters. Or look to California, where, despite a reputation for high taxes and regulatory hurdles, technology and innovation have fueled stellar economic performance since 2010.

The State Technology and Science Index (STSI) endeavors to benchmark states on their science and technology capabilities and broader commercialization ecosystems that contribute to company growth, high-value-added job creation, and overall economic growth. We view the STSI as a measure of a state’s innovation pipeline. The index isn’t intended to be a measure of immediate economic impact, but rather to demonstrate that the return on science and technology assets will accrue in future years. Along with deep human capital, individuals who recognize entrepreneurial opportunity and have the knowledge and skills to develop it are among the strongest assets a geographical area can have in today’s innovation-based economy.

The STSI’s 107 individual indicators are sorted into five composites: Research and Development Inputs, Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure, Human Capital Investment, Technology and Science Workforce, and Technology Concentration and Dynamism.

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