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MA, RI Release State Innovation Benchmark Studies

November 30, 2011

TBED organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island recently published comprehensive reviews of their respective state innovation economies. Both studies employ metrics of the general economy, as well as indicators of STEM education, research, venture investment and technology industry activity. They also use data from other state economies to track their progress in creating a vibrant and sustainable innovation ecosystem. The reports provide a useful set of innovation metrics that can be applied in other regions.


The 13th annual Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative suggests that almost 40 percent the state's employment fell within innovative sectors in 2010. Eleven sectors are included in this group, including: healthcare delivery, financial services, postsecondary education, business services, software and communications services, bio-pharma and medical devices, "scientific, technical and management services," diversified industrial manufacturing, defense manufacturing & instrumentation, computer & communications hardware and advanced materials. Though these eleven sectors include a wide umbrella of occupations, they represent key innovation activities and many of the higher paying jobs within the state economy.

Among the ten leading technology states included in the review, Massachusetts led in high-tech employment concentration, with 38.6 percent of jobs in these key sectors. Only Connecticut came close, with 35.8 percent, followed by Pennsylvania at 32.7 percent. While 2010 was a challenging year for employment in any state, Massachusetts managed to decline the least in innovation sector employment compared to other leading states. The index includes a total of 25 indicators with data from other states. MTC plans to release the 2011 edition of the publication in the first quarter of 2012. Read the 2010 Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy...

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's knowledge economy report, from the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council, focuses on other New England states as a basis for comparison. Data from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont covering economic, social and high-tech trends are used to track Rhode Island's progress. The study focuses on six sectors: advanced manufacturing, marine trades and defense, information technology and digital media, health care and life science, wind turbine component manufacturing and design. Over the past few years, Rhode Island's economy has lagged behind its New England neighbors, with weak gross state product growth, out-migration of young people, and a challenging entrepreneurial climate. The authors find, however, encouraging data on improving per capita incomes, university patenting, STEM student performance and federal R&D obligations. Continuing challenges include venture capital availability, entrepreneurial climate, per capita patenting and state funding for science and technology. Read Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy...

Massachusetts, Rhode Islandeconomic impact report, benchmarking report