Colorado ranks third in tech and science index

Colorado continues to fare well in an evaluation of state technology and science sectors and how well they attract companies and create jobs.

Colorado ranked third behind Massachusetts and Maryland in the 2010 Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index.

California ranked fourth in the index, followed by Utah, Washington, New Hampshire, Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware.
The top four states were ranked in the same order in the 2008 index.

The index tracks 79 indicators categorized into five major components: research and development inputs, risk capital and entreprenurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science work forces and technology concentration and dynamism. The 2010 index includes new measurements related to investments in green and clean-tech industries.

“States that got a head start on building their tech and science assets prior to the economic downturn now have healthier, more diversified economic growth engines,” said Ross DeVol, executive director of economic research at the Milken Institute and lead author of the report on the index.

“Looking into the subcomponents of the index, we see that competition is growing, however, as states vie for high-tech investment and human capital — not just from other states, but from around the world,” DeVol added.

The recession reduced both public and private research and development funding and incentives. But even as national funding could be curtailed, many of the top-ranking states in the index have developed their own funding and incentive programs, DeVol said.

“Many states are facing tough budget choices,” DeVol said. “But we’ve seen by tracking these indicators in the index that long-term strategies and investments are absolutely necessary to compete in a global, innovation-based economy.