• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine Release Innovation Indices

March 21, 2012

While many state programs provide periodic reports on their activities and impacts, a few states provide regular data on their innovation economy as a whole. These reports can be useful in assessing a state's overall approach to TBED and in finding new areas for strategic intervention. Recently, groups in Massachusetts, Maine and Illinois separately released innovation indices that provide quantitative guides to their state's progress in fostering innovation. Massachusetts The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's John Adams Innovation Institute has released its 2011 Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, an annual review of the Commonwealth's high-tech economy through 25 indicators. Each year, the index tracks Massachusetts' progress in these indicators, along with comparisons to other U.S. states and national economies. In addition to Massachusetts, the 2011 edition provides indicator data for comparison from seven leading technology states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Highlights from the 25 indicators include Industry cluster employment and wages, patenting activity, R&D performed, business formation, funding for R&D, and talent flow and attraction. Massachusetts' innovation once again ranks impressively next to its benchmark state and national economies, though the report notes that several indicators have had a downward trend over the past few years. The state leads the U.S. in per capita venture capital and SBIR awards, but that lead has shrunk since 2000. Employment in the state increasingly has become concentrated in key innovation sectors, and maintained its high rate of entrepreneurship activity throughout the recession. Massachusetts must now find ways to better fund higher education and get its students interested in STEM fields. Download the report... Maine Maine's Department of Community and Economic Development has released three reports examining the state's R&D and innovation economy performance in 2011. The first, Maine's Innovation Index 2012, tracks 24 indicators measuring Maine's progress toward building an innovation-driven economy. The state's performance is compared to U.S trends and to the New England region as a whole. Maine continues to improve in R&D performance, patenting, math and science skills of its eighth graders, and science and engineering enrollments and degrees. The second publication, a comprehensive R&D evaluation, tracks innovation inputs and outputs and progress toward the goals of the state's 2010 S&T plan. The report finds that although Maine's technology investment levels have not met the goals set out in the plan, they have brought substantial increases in research capacity and infrastructure, as well as new companies. Recommendations include providing more targeted supported for strategic industries, linking capital programs to advisory services and supporting retraining for existing workers. A third report evaluates the growing importance of middle-skill jobs, jobs that require some post-high school training, but not a four-year degree. The report finds that 30 percent of all Maine jobs fall in this category and that many of the job opportunities that open for workers in the coming years will require some type of post-secondary certification or training. Download the reports... Illinois Several groups in Illinois, including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, World Business Chicago and the Illinois Innovation Network, are taking a different approach to innovation tracking by releasing monthly updates that feature select indicators. Since September 2011, the Illinois Innovation Index has highlighted a number of key innovation metrics, including venture capital investment, entrepreneur optimism, and R&D funding for industry and universities. This month's issue uses the Chicago MSA's patent output to gauge the region's innovation trajectory. Using patent data since 2006, the issue shows a decrease in activity in multiplex communications, but increases in financial and data processing and continued strength in advanced manufacturing.

Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts