Updated March 25 at 2:33pm

Chamber, STAC release second annual benchmark report


PROVIDENCE – The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council have released the second annual report measuring the progress of Rhode Island’s knowledge economy, the state’s developing hub of research and technology.

The study, “Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy - 2012” looks at 23 indicators in four categories that were chosen to reflect and assess the strengths and weaknesses of Rhode Island’s knowledge economy through the years.

The report showed that areas of strength for the Ocean State included research and development performance by academic and nonprofit institutions, venture capital, income, and education attainment of the population – the percentage of the 25 and older population who hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Areas of concern for Rhode Island were the net migration of the working age population, industry R&D performance, employment in science and technology industries, and math scores for eight graders.

“A birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, our state has a long legacy of turning ideas and knowledge into products,” said the report. “And today, with a dense concentration of science and technology assets, and a hyper-connectivity of people and communities, Rhode Island is well situated to build on that tradition.”

The report analyzes nine aspects of the state’s knowledge economy, including gross state product and per capita income, five aspects of the “knowledge business pipeline,” including patents issued, and the state’s entrepreneurial climate, featuring five aspects of research and development, and four aspects of “workforce for the knowledge economy,” including eighth-grade math scores and education attainment.

The report also projected a one-year and a five-year trend for indicators, compared them to the most recent national ranking and compared Rhode Island to the 27 national EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) programs.

Rhode Island ranked within the top 20 states nationally in per capita income, high-speed Internet access, patents issued, venture capital investments, total R&D performance (including top 20 ranks for academic, nonprofit and federal R&D performance), and educational attainment.

Conversely, the Rhode Island ranked in the bottom 20 states for gross state product growth, net domestic migration, state appropriations for higher education, and entrepreneurial climate.

Neighboring Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in five different indicators: patents issued to universities and colleges, venture capital investments, total SBIR/STTR investments, not-for-profit R&D performance and math scores for eighth graders.

Other New England states with No. 1 rankings included Connecticut, for industry R&D performance and Vermont for patents issued.

To see the full report, click HERE.


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