Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NM Technology, Science Development Rank Drops

After a six-place leap from 20th to 14th from 2002 to 2004, New Mexico’s rank on the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index dropped one place per year for the rest of the Richardson administration. New Mexico placed 18th on the 2010 index, released last month, with an index rank of 59.05.
The index measures how states “have successfully built and leveraged their science and technology resources to create diversified economies for the 21st century,” says an article in the February-March 2011 issue of Innovation. The magazine, which calls itself “America’s Journal of Technology Commercialization” and which is based in Albuquerque, didn’t mention New Mexico’s rank. The omission is no surprise as Innovation has a national audience.
Massachusetts is number one with an 82.61 index rank. Five states including neighboring Colorado and Utah sport scores over 70. The index has 79 “indicators,” aggregated into five major components. The components, with New Mexico’s rank in parenthesis, are: Human Capital Investment (25); Research and Development Inputs (10); Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure (23); Technology and Science Work Force (25); Technology Concentration and Dynamism (17).
Human capital investment means education, starting with the number of all recent degrees in science and engineering per 1,000 civilian workers and including SAT scores and the percentage of the population 25 and older with degrees.
The technology and science workforce includes agricultural and food scientists, various engineers and computer professionals, microbiologists and physicists.
New Mexico’s strength remains the national laboratories. The research and development inputs group includes federal research and development dollars per capita. Here New Mexico holds a solid second place behind Maryland.
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