1. Massachusetts (1/11)
Massachusetts has regularly earned high rankings from Milken for its science and technology investments. Although its composite score has slipped slightly since 2002, Massachusetts still ranks the highest in R&D, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and work force. The state government has pledged $1 billion for 10 years through its Life Sciences Initiative. And it's home to a successful bio/pharma cluster.
2. Maryland (2/11)
Maryland earned second place overall but placed first for human capital capacity. It has made improvements since 2002, taking it from fourth overall to its current position. The state is home to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and its proximity to Washington, D.C. helps it attract significant federal funding. Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University helps, too, as the top recipient of NIH funding in the nation.
3. Colorado (3/11)
Colorado performs best in technology concentration and dynamism. It is home to several Inc. 500 companies that create science and tech jobs. Those firms have excellent hiring prospects. The state's work force is highly educated, with much of the population holding at least a bachelor's degree. Its university and college networks support the growth of the employee base.
4. California (4/11)
California ranks highly in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure but it is falling short in work force criteria. Recent graduation rates in the sciences, engineering, and biomedical sectors have dropped. The state still leads, however, in technology-driven economic development. The Silicon Valley retains its prestige as the world's most desirable high-tech cluster. And the state government is now banking on renewable energy and nanotech.
5. Utah (5/11)
Utah ranks first for technology concentration and dynamism and jumped three spots from last year's list. It made impressive strides in R&D, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and work force. The medical device sector is heating up and Brigham Young University is leading the charge for promoting the life sciences.
6. Washington (6/11)
Washington's concentration of technology firms landed it in the top 10. Microsoft and its spin-offs helped put the state on the map for tech, with Seattle now a leading global destination for the software industry. And while Boeing moved its corporate headquarters from the state, Washington retains much of its employment, operations, and suppliers. Education and labor investments will further solidify the state's position.
Next: New Hampshire
7. New Hampshire (7/11)
This New England state is becoming a hot destination for R&D dollars, helping propel it two positions from 2008. The National Science Foundation has awarded in-state businesses STTR and SBIR financing towards science and tech projects. The state government is now focusing on attracting and retaining a young work force.
8. Virginia (8/11)
Virginia's tech concentration and work force have kept it in the top 10, but it dropped two spots due to a decline in human capital investment since 2008. It still draws strength from its proximity to Washington, D.C., a data-processing cluster, and defense and aerospace businesses.
9. Connecticut (9/11)
While Connecticut dropped two places overall, it jumped eight positions higher in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure. It has also significantly improved venture capital access. Connecticut's strong aerospace and financial services industries have contributed to its tech strength. The state government is also supporting startups in selected sectors.
10. Delaware (10/11)
Delaware broke into the top 10 for the first time this year with leaps in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure. The presence of bio/pharma companies such as AstraZeneca means that the state has a high concentration of biochemists, biophysicists, and microbiologists. It also has strong clusters of computer systems analysts and database and network administrators.