For Immediate Release - November 02, 2016

Milken Institute Once Again Ranks Massachusetts as the Nation’s Most Innovative State

Independent think tank finds that Massachusetts remains the national leader in technology research and development

Boston – November 2, 2016 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration celebrated Massachusetts’s placement at the top of the 2016 edition of the Milken Institute’s annual State Technology and Science Index. The Milken Institute, an economic development think tank, found that Massachusetts has the nation’s most innovative economy. High levels of public and private research and development activity, venture capital investment, new patent filings, and a highly-educated technology and scientific workforce paced the Commonwealth’s national innovation economy leadership. Massachusetts has topped the Milken Institute’s annual State Technology and Science Index since 2002.

“Massachusetts’s top innovation ranking is a testament to the talent of our workforce and the ingenuity of our employer community,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”

“We are proud that the researchers and employers that are pioneering new technological advances in cyber security, robotics, materials sciences, and medical and wearable devices call Massachusetts home,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “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.”

“The dynamism of the Massachusetts innovation economy springs from our state’s 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,” said Housing and economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We have seen this dynamism reflected in the recent decisions by marquee employers to grow their businesses in Massachusetts, and we look forward to building on these successes in the years to come.”

"Massachusetts is the best place in the nation and the world for life sciences innovation," said Travis McCready, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. "Our leadership in the life sciences is creating jobs, and the next generation of health technologies that are improving patient care globally. Through continued investment, we are developing a fully integrated ecosystem for life sciences product development, from discovery right through to commercialization and production."

“It’s an honor that the Milken Institute once-again recognized the world-class research hubs, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers that exist here in Massachusetts,” said Tim Connelly, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a public agency that supports the innovation economy. “We were thrilled that the report singled out the Commonwealth’s direct investments in R&D, as well as our support for key emerging sectors such as ‘big data’, in their rankings. 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 to providing 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.