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Milken Releases California Tech & Science Index

September 20, 2002

"California must continue to increase funding for science and technology in its university systems or risk losing one of its most important comparative advantages," warns the Milken Institute in the State Technology & Science Index: Comparing and Contrasting California.

Commissioned by TechVentures Network and the California Technology Trade and Commerce Agency's Division of Science Technology and Innovation, Milken set about to develop a series of indicators to measure the performance of California’s high technology-based economy against the rest of the country.

The result is a set of 73 indicators arrayed across five composites: R&D inputs; risk capital and infrastructure; human capital investment; technology and science workforce; and technology concentration and dynamism.

Based on the aggregate scores, the Milken Institute reports Massachusetts, Colorado and California are in the best position to succeed in the technology-led information age. California's success at attracting scientific and technology talent from other regions of the country help offset a "comparative weakness" in the human capital composite, the report concludes.

The balance of the top 10 states are: (4) Maryland, (5) Virginia, (6) Washington, (7) New Jersey, (8) Connecticut, (9) Utah and (10) Minnesota.

Despite the dot-com meltdown and the slowdown in the technology sector in the past two years, the study shows that high-tech is as crucial as ever to economic growth in California.

“The demise of far-fetched Internet businesses hardly refutes the fact that new technology is changing the rules in many sectors of the economy,” the report says. “Science, technology and knowledge-driven innovation are critical to job and wealth creation in the new economics of place.”

In conducting the research, Institute economists found a strong connection between science and technology investment and personal income gains, as well as overall state economic growth. More than three-fourths of personal income growth can be tied to increases in technology output, researchers found.

The study offers a detailed look at California’s technology position among the other 49 states. While not part of the published report, a separate set of Institute rankings for all 50 states shows the inventory of each state’s technology and science assets.

The full 119-page report for California is available for download at no cost on the Milken Institute website. The set of 30 pages in supporting 50-state indices is available for $195. More information is available at: http://www.milkeninstitute.org