Massachusetts has again topped the State Technology & Science Index as the Number One innovation economy in the United States.
The index, issued annually by the Milken Institute, measured five categories in the rankings: human capital investment; risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure; research and development inputs; technology concentration and dynamism; and technology and science workforce.
Governor Charlie Baker called Massachusetts’s top innovation ranking “a testament to the talent of our workforce and the ingenuity of our employer community. But it is also a reminder of the competition we’re facing from other states, and of the need to continue the public-private research and development investments that will allow our advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and high-technology clusters to continue to grow.”
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito praised “the researchers and employers that are pioneering new technological advances in cyber security, robotics, materials sciences, and medical and wearable devices. Our administration is committed to supporting innovation clusters throughout the Commonwealth, accelerating business formation and growth, and ensuring that our workers are prepared for the jobs of the future.”
Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, cited “highly educated workforce, our public supports for new technology discovery, and an unparalleled network of incubators, accelerators, and collaborative workspaces that nurture the growth of new, innovative companies” for creating the state’s dynamic innovation economy.
Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, called Massachusetts “the best place in the nation and the world for life sciences innovation,” adding, “through continued investment, we are developing a fully integrated ecosystem for life sciences product development, from discovery right through to commercialization and production.”
Tim Connelly, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said, “To remain on top we’re continuing these investments, supporting public-private R&D projects focused on emerging technology sectors. Our hope is that the technologies developed and workers trained through these innovative projects will keep us at the top of the list for decades to come.”
Since January 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has committed matching funds to public-private research partnerships in emerging technology clusters, in cyber security and data science, nano-printed smart sensors, and printed electronics. The Administration is collaborating with partners in higher education and private industry on three major federally-sponsored advanced manufacturing technology projects, including a national innovation institute in revolutionary fibers and textiles, and regional innovation institutes in flexible hybrid electronics, and integrated photonics. The Administration has also launched a comprehensive public-private cluster development initiative to advance the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s emerging digital health industry.
The Baker-Polito Administration has also committed $12 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to provide high schools and community colleges with modern workforce development equipment, with a significant allocation devoted to workforce training in innovation fields, including engineering, advanced manufacturing, robotics, computer science, and 3D printing.
In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569), which includes $71 million for the development and commercialization of new manufacturing technologies, $45 million for workforce training equipment grants, and $15 million for the Research and Development Matching Grant fund, recognized in the Milken Institute’s innovation index as a critical driver of long-term investments in the future of the state’s innovation economy. The Act also includes $15 million for investments in community-based innovation, through a new fund that makes capital grants to support the development and fit-out of collaborative workspaces.