STAC and Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Release New Knowledge Economy Benchmarking Tool
Published on November 9, 2011
In partnership with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, STAC has developed a new tool for measuring the growth of the state's knowledge-based and science driven economy. Entitled "Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy," the document was created to be a tool for evaluating the state's ability to compete regionally and nationally.
"The RI Science and Technology Advisory Council is pleased to partner with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to produce this important new evaluation tool," said Clyde Briant, co-chair of STAC. "We look forward to continuing to work with the Chamber to collect new data as they become available so that we can measure how the State is trending in these important areas and insure that the initiatives we have in place best leverage scarce financial resources to improve our state's science and technology driven economy."
Developed around 23 key indicators, the study compares Rhode Island to other New England states, 27 EPSCoR states and the United States as a whole. The indicators are organized into four categories representing key components of a knowledge-based economy: RI's Knowledge Economy; The Knowledge Business Pipeline; Research and Development and The Workforce for the Knowledge Economy.
"What we have created is designed to establish a baseline from which Rhode Island businesses, policy makers and institutions can measure progress and track future development," said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. "This is important information that will allow us to understand what drives a strong Knowledge Economy and then organize our public policies and strategic investments around that information."
According to the study there are many areas where Rhode Island is doing well including high speed Internet access, venture capital investments, research and development, educational attainment and patents issued. It also noted where the state could focus additional effort including stemming the net migration of persons 22-39 years of age, getting more scientists and engineers in the workforce and developing the entrepreneurial climate.
Conducted by Camoin Associates and Innovation Policy Works over a period of six months, the report represents the first step in a data collection process. It includes the most recent available data, some of which dates back to 2007. However, the majority of datasets are based from 2008 to 2010. The report is considered to be the first step in measuring the state's progress in growing the Knowledge Economy. The data, when updated in coming years, will be a tool to evaluate the state's competitive position.