The State of Science and Technology in New York

In a June 2008 report title the State Technology and Science Index: Enduring Lessons for the Intangible Economy, The Milken Institute stresses the importance of knowledge and information infrastructure to a state’s economic success. Not surprisingly, New York is not among the leading states.

In a report that makes strong arguments for NYSHEI’s ARIA proposal to empower academic and research libraries as the “information infrastructure” for a 21st century economy, the Milken Institute states plainly that “university-based research and development are important drivers of economic development if properly channeled and harnessed.”

Assessing the 50 states “inventory of the technology and science assets” the report places New York at 15, behind our neighboring states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and indeed all of the Northeastern states that – along with Utah, California, Virginia and others – dominate the top of the list.

Other notable quotes from the report include:

* “Long run economic growth is highly dependent on funding and performing R&D activities.”

* “Technology firms are continually monitoring the globe to find attractive locations for their R&D activities.”

* “The nation’s universities and colleges account for approximately half of basic research [performed in the United State].”

* “The economic value of university research accrues over many years. However, campus facilities, research staff and knowledge contribute to a region’s research base and have a short-term payoff, too: they attract new business.”

* “Knowledge and the innovation capacities of human capital are at the core of the new intangible-based economics of place… Today, with the emergence of the information age, the strength of a country is based on knowledge. National greatness will arise not from our natural resources or our factories, but from our people – people with new ideas and skills.”

As NYSHEI has long pointed out, this is the great challenge to New York, and its laggard ICE (Intellectual, Cultural, Educational) economy. A critical part of the solution lies in the state’s public and private academic and research libraries, collaboratively brought together by state support.


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