benchmarking report

NC gaining ground on innovation markers

North Carolina is gaining ground nationally in its innovation capacity and the number of innovation-oriented establishments in the state has increased by twice the national rate, according to a new report from the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation. The 2019 report, the seventh in a series first published in 2000, evaluates the state’s standing against six other key comparison states (California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia, Colorado and Washington) and the U.S. overall on 40 measures of innovation capacity, and outlines ways to advance the state’s economy by encouraging and harnessing innovation. Some of the other gains the state saw included its academic R&D intensity (grown at a rate of 25.4 percent since 2003) and percentage of workforce in science and engineering occupations (increased by 34.8 percent from 2003 to 2017).

Benchmark report reveals threats to US science, tech leadership

While the U.S. continues to lead the world in science, technology and innovation, other nations are on track to catch and surpass the lead the country currently holds, according to a new report from the Task Force on American Innovation (TFIA). In Second Place America? Increasing Challenges to U.S. Scientific Leadership, TFIA, a non-partisan alliance of leading American companies and business associations, research university associations, and scientific societies, benchmarks the U.S. against other nations in R&D investment, knowledge production, education, workforce and high-tech sectors of the economy. The report holds that to maintain a global leadership status, which it calls critical to national security and future economic growth and prosperity, a renewed national commitment to invest in key federal science agencies such as NSF, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is necessary.

China gaining on US lead in S&T

The latest Science and Engineering Indicators from NSF’s National Science Board shows the U.S. share of S&T activities declining as other nations like China continue to rise. The report presents a wealth of data on how science and engineering R&D are tied to economic and workforce development, including indicators in education; workforce; R&D; industry, technology and the global marketplace; invention, knowledge transfer, and innovation; and public attitudes and understanding. The report includes an interactive data tool presenting U.S. state-specific trends in S&E.

Dashboards of Shared Metrics Support Coordination, Effective Benchmarking

The development of common metrics is increasingly used at the state and regional level as a method to ensure the coordination of likeminded stakeholders. While choosing which metrics to use is at the root of this process, identifying ways in which to communicate this information to interested parties is also important. With an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, this article highlights the ways in which governments and nonprofits are using dashboards to highlight their successes, identify their shortcomings, and gather data to inform next steps.

Six States Receive A's on Manufacturing Report Card, BSU Report Finds

Six states received A's for the health of their manufacturing sector in a new study from Ball State University (BSU) – Conexus Indiana 2015 Manufacturing and Logistics National Report. In addition to the category of manufacturing industry health, each of the 50 states are graded in an additional eight areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics including: logistics industry health; human capital; worker benefit coststax climate; expected liability gap; global reach; sector diversification; and, productivity and innovation. Researchers, policymakers and practitioners can access individualized report cards for all 50 states to compare their state’s performance in all nine categories to other states. The annual research study and benchmarking report was sponsored by Conexus Indiana – a private sector-led initiative focused on the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors. Read the full report and view state report cards…

Industry Experts Propose New Benchmarks, Metrics for Impact Investing

Between 1998 and 2010, impact investment funds outperformed funds of the same size, according to the Wall Street Journal. Impact-focused funds of $100 million or less posted a 9.5 percent pooled net internal rate of return, outperforming the 4.5 percent delivered by funds of the same size that were not focused on impact investments. The industry, however, is still in its nascent stage and data remains somewhat scarce. In an article for Quartz, William Burckart contends that wealth management professionals are hesitant to propose impact investment funds to their clients for several reasons, including:

Dashboard Allows Users to Examine Monthly Percent Change in Employment for U.S. Metros

SYNEVA Economics – a consulting firm focused on local and regional economic analysis – released a free-to-use, web-based tool that allows users to examine monthly change in employment for the United States’ largest metros from January 2008 to May 2015. Using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the Metro Employment Index interactive dashboard includes a mapping function that allows users to examine monthly employment data for all 387 metros. The tool also allows users to view a single metro monthly employment data for the 77 months of available data. As of May 2015, the number of metros adding jobs dropped to 319 – approximately 82 percent of all U.S. metros. These finding marked the fifth consecutive month with fewer metros showing job growth. The 63 states that reported job loss was the highest since March 2014. Use the dashboard…

Small Business Owners Optimistic About Future Economic Conditions, New Survey Finds

Business owners felt overwhelmingly optimistic about the future, as over 80 percent of them predicted their revenues would increase over the next three months and that financial conditions would be better as well, according to a new survey from and Bloomberg  Professional Service.  The Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Survey captures the economic sentiment of more than 10,000 small businesses nationwide on a monthly basis by surveying both owners and employees of those businesses.  Other findings include:

Great Lakes Angels Invested More Dollars Than CA Angels, Halo Report Finds

In 2014, Angel groups in the Great Lakes region invested more dollars than anywhere else in the country, 17.2 percent of the U.S. total, including angel groups in California (17 percent). This marks the first time a U.S. region other than California led in dollars invested by angel groups since the Halo Report has started to track angel investments.  Rob Wiltbank, an author of the report, indicated that the Great Lakes region’s activity was driven by several large investments made by angel groups. The Angel Resource Institute’s 2014 Annual Halo Report data is based on 870 deals totaling $1.65 billion in total rounds including co-investors.

U.S. Home to 28.4M Small Businesses Employing 56M Workers, SBA Reports

The U.S. is home to more than 28.4 million small businesses (less than 500 employees), employing over 56 million workers (approximately half of the nation’s workforce), according to a recently released a report entitled Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, an annual analysis of each state’s small businesses. Released by the Small Businesses Administration’s Office of Advocacy, the report provides information on the number of firms, employment, demographics, and other topics at both the national and state levels. Included in the report are detailed profiles for all 50 states and key U.S. territories that are intended to be a reference tool for researchers, policymakers, and small entities who are interested in how small firms are performing regionally or nationally.


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