State Technology and Science Index 2016: California Perspectives
The Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index (STSI) series benchmarks states on their science and technology capacity. It also assesses states’ broader ecosystems for innovation, development, and commercialization that translate into companies, high-value jobs, and overall economic vitality. California, home to Silicon Valley, has long been a leader in this space, and on the 2016 STSI it ranks fourth. Science-and-technology-related sectors are key pillars of the California economy, and it is most useful to compare the state with other similarly focused state economies. This avoids comparing mature tech hubs with states experiencing rapid growth from a low base, recognizing that different strategies and policy levers are available in these different situations. To this end, we used a cluster analysis on our 2016 STSI results to understand which states are most like California, and in this paper we explore areas where California must focus attention in order to maintain or improve its position, highlighting lessons from peer states where available.