RI improves on economic transformation


We know about the bad news on the RI economy. But the RI EDC's Saul Kaplan, in a news release today, points to some good news:

Rhode Island was cited as a top performer in the 2008 State New Economy Index, a report published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Released today, the 2008 Index ranked Rhode Island 11th in the nation in a state-by-state analysis of how state economies are transitioning to economic development strategies that focus on the creation and retention of high-wage jobs in growth industries. Rhode Island has moved up four places from its 2007 Index position, and has moved up from 29th when the Index was first issued in 1999.

The 2008 Index ranks the 50 states according to how their economies are structured and their ability to operate effectively in order to compete nationally and globally. It divides 29 indicators into five categories that best capture the New Economy: knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism, transformation to a digital economy and technological innovation capacity. 

“Rhode Island’s ranking in the Kauffman/ITIF Index has improved year-to-year-and the report commends Rhode Island for the investments we have made in R&D and technology. This is good news for Rhode Island,” says Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “Although we face significant challenges in weathering today’s economic crisis, it is important to recognize and celebrate the progress we have made in building a foundation for a new economy in Rhode Island that will be better positioned to compete nationally and globally in the years to come.”

According to the 2008 report, Rhode Island ranked:
• As the “Top Mover” in the nation for inventor patents;
• 2nd in the nation for health IT;
• 2nd in the nation in broadband communications;
• 3rd in the nation for industry-performed research as a percentage of total worker earnings;
• 4th in the nation for non-industry investments into Research & Development;
• 5th in the nation for scientists and engineers as a percentage of the state’s workforce

"Our state’s academic, public and private sectors have never been more committed to accelerating Rhode Island’s economic transformation into a 21st century knowledge economy.  In order to strengthen our economy and create new jobs we must continue to support policies that attract and retain top talent, create an environment that supports innovation and develop programs that offer all Rhode Islanders access to good jobs.  It is exciting to see that Rhode Island recognized for its commitment to economic transformation,” says Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Saul Kaplan.

One important driver of Rhode Island's ranking improvement is the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC). Since 2006, STAC has championed programs and policies that increase the state’s research capacity and support entrepreneurs and new company creation.

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