Rhode Island Climbs Into Top Ten on National Index of State Technology and Science Capacity
Published on June 20, 2008
Efforts to Create an Innovation Economy Recognized by Milken Institute for Increasing Research, Development and Innovation Capacity
Rhode Island has climbed into the top 10 among states that use science and technology to boost their economies according to the 2008 Milken State Technology and Science Index (Go to the milkeninstitute.org website).
The Index measures each state‚??s assets that can be leveraged to promote economic development and reflects how adept states are at adapting to the shifting nature of an intangible, knowledge-based economy.
Notably, Rhode Island‚??s best showing is in the Research and Development Composite Index where it takes sixth place overall and is recognized as the top state in the competitive National Science Foundation proposal funding rate and a top-five finishers in many other indicators in the R&D composite.
The Index rates states in five composite areas and Rhode Island demonstrated strength in each category:
- Research and Development Inputs (6th) - Measures performance in this area by calculating the ability to attract various types of federal, industry and academic funding.
- Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure (15th) - Measures efforts to attract capable entrepreneurs and the risk capital needed to support the conversion of research into commercially viable endeavors.
- Human Capital Investment (15th) - Measures the stock of human capital by the concentration and momentum of various science and engineering fields.
- Technology and Science Work Force Composite (13th) - Measures depth of eighteen technical and scientific occupational categories.
- Technology Concentration and Dynamism (13th) - Measures technology outcomes to assess the effectiveness of policy makers and other stakeholders in transforming each state‚??s assets into economic prosperity for its citizens.
These rankings support the efforts of the RI Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) which was created in 2005 with the mission to make innovation central to the state's leadership agenda. STAC is charged with recommending and implementing policies and practices that 1) support the state's research and development activity; 2) promote collaboration across institutions; 3) encourage entrepreneurship and new company creation; and 4) enable all Rhode Island organizations, both public and private, to innovate.
One of STAC‚??s first initiatives was the creation of the RI Research Alliance to bring greater connectivity to the state‚??s existing collaborative research efforts such as the NSF‚??s EPSCoR program, the NIH‚??s IDeA programs in the COBRE and INBRE networks, and the DOD‚??s DEPSCoR and to increase Rhode Island‚??s competitiveness as it seeks additional federal funding. With its unique ecosystem, Rhode Island is positioned to leverage its small size and already well-developed relationships to bring together government, academia and industry in new, positive and creative ways.
Other STAC initiatives include the creation of the URI Commission for Research and Innovation which is charged with proposing specific actions to strengthen URI‚??s position as a nationally competitive public research university and a key institution in Rhode Island‚??s effort to grow an innovation economy and the and the launch of an Innovation Tax Credit to attract and retain serial entrepreneurs in high-wage, high-growth industries.