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Massachusetts Maintains Lead as Nation's Top State in Technology and Science, According to Milken Institute

Massachusetts, which passed a $1 billion life sciences bill in June to invest in high-tech infrastructure and research and development over the next 10 years, is in the best position of any state to achieve high-quality economic growth thanks to its vast array of technology and science assets, a new Milken Institute study shows.
Massachusetts ranks first in the Milken Institute's 2008 State Technology and Science Index, followed by Maryland, Colorado and California.

According to the report, regional competition for technology industries has increased since the last release of the Index in 2004. Not only are states vying with each other for human capital and resources, but also countries like China and India are increasing the competition on a global level.

At the same time, the post-9/11 decrease in international graduate students and flat or decreased federal funding for research and development are applying negative pressure to states that are not making serious investments to build and retain these 21st century industries.

"States that have a vision and a plan for building and retaining high-wage jobs and viable industries are finding ways to invest in their science and technology assets," said Ross DeVol, director of Regional Economics at the Milken Institute, and lead author of the study. "The changes in this year's Index give a good measure of who is ahead in the increasing competition for scarce human capital and other resources needed for a successful industry."

The states in the best position to succeed in the technology-led information age are (with 2004 rankings):

1) Massachusetts (1)
2) Maryland (4)
3) Colorado (3)
4) California (2)
5) Washington (6)
6) Virginia (5)
7) Connecticut (10)
8) Utah (9)
9) New Hampshire (12)
10) Rhode Island (11)

Because states can no longer succeed with a low-skill, low-cost economic development formula, they must compete globally on the basis of new ideas, new products and new markets, along with superior productivity growth, the report states. The future will belong to those regions that can develop a thriving technology industry in a wide variety of fast-growing fields including biotech, clean technology, nanotechnology, communications and next-generation computer applications. The Index takes an objective measure of just how prepared each state is to take advantage of these opportunities.

The 2008 State Technology and Science Index looks at 77 unique indicators that are categorized into five major components: Research and Development Inputs, Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure, Human Capital Investment, Technology and Science Work Force, and Technology Concentration and Dynamism. It is one of the most comprehensive examinations of state technology and science assets ever compiled.

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