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Mississippi Technology Alliance Releases Second Annual Innovation Index

April 11, 2003

The Mississippi Technology Alliance has released a second annual index focusing on the process of innovation, the links between innovation and technology-based economic development, and activities that government, academia and the private sector provide to support innovation and economic development.

First published in January 2002, the Mississippi Innovation Index presents technology goals, targets and annual performance levels for Mississippi, using data from the Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, the Mississippi Tax Commission and other national databases. The 2003 index updates data for the most current years published by the agencies and the previous 3-5 years.

Eight innovation goals, or areas of focus, are the subject of the Index. Using a standardized scoring system, the index shows Mississippi's overall index value among the areas is 325, up slightly from the baseline index value of 300 — an improvement of 8 percent. The 10-year goals include:

  • wealth creation - increase high tech employment to 7.9 percent of total employment;
  • statewide research capacity - increase total R&D expenditures to $17 for every $1,000 of gross state product (GSP);
  • university research capacity - increase university royalties from patents and licenses to $2.50 for every $1,000 University R&D expenditures;
  • business research and development - increase Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to $.10 for every $1,000 GSP;
  • technology business development - increase net growth in the number of technology intensive firms to 33 percent;
  • industrial productivity - increase value added in manufacturing to $84,000 per manufacturing employee;
  • technology workforce development - increase the percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce to 0.3 percent; and,
  • investment capital - increase venture capital invested in Mississippi companies to $2 for every $1,000 GSP.

Mississippi performs above the baseline in two areas, state research capacity and industrial productivity, but falls below it in four others. The Index concludes, "Although performance is high in some areas and low in others, the combined scores reflect the joint influence of this family of innovation measures."

The nonprofit Mississippi Technology Alliance promotes science and technology-based economic development in Mississippi. Its Index is available at http://www.innovationindex.ms.