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Mississippi Technology Alliance Releases First Annual Index

February 01, 2002

The first-ever Mississippi Innovation Index was released Wednesday by the Mississippi Technology Alliance.

Targeting technology-based economic development in Mississippi, the Index groups baseline data into eight categories and establishes a data collection process for 24 science- and technology-related indicators. Initial analyses suggest:

  • Wealth Creation: Wages, though below average, are increasing the most in higher wage establishments.
  • Research Capacity: Mississippi has huge federal investment, good university investment and low industry investment in research and development (R&D).
  • University Research Capacity: While the level of federal investment is good, the state has seen decreased R&D expenditures in recent years. The Index reports the state has weak research-commercialization linkages.
  • Business Research Capacity: Relatively little industrial research exists in the state; the business environment may not be conducive to R&D activity due to workforce, infrastructure and capital investment shortfalls.
  • Technology Business Development: No prior measures have been conducted in this segment of the state's economy. Experts caution that going after high technology businesses does not guarantee economic development.
  • Industrial Productivity: Mississippi is transitioning from a low-wage to a higher-skilled manufacturing mix. The report suggests the state focus on upgrading the workforce and increasing capital investment to retain high-skilled jobs and expand existing industries over the long-term.
  • Technology Workforce Development: The percentage of those enrolled in science and engineering degree programs who graduate is between 16-30 percent, with Master's degree programs having the highest percent graduation rate. Efforts to retain graduates to work in Mississippi would boost the number of scientists and engineers in the workforce.
  • Investment Capital: The state must build investment capital networks and market its value to bring investments.

With publication of its first annual Mississippi Innovation Index, the state has what it hopes will be a consistent and reliable source of data that will enable it to clarify national rankings. An executive summary of the Index is available at: http://www.technologyalliance.ms/innovation_index/index.html Full copies of the Index may be obtained by contacting Heath Hall at (601) 960-3610 or hhall@technologyalliance.ms.