Small Times Magazine names 2004 Top 10 Small Tech Hot Spots

Ann Arbor, Mich., March 15, 2004 – Which states lead the race to become hot spots in nanotechnology, MEMS and microsystems? Small Times magazine features its yearly list of the Top 10 Small Tech Hot Spots in its March/April issue, due out next week.

“States have embraced small technology as an important source of economic development,” said Steve Crosby, Small Times Media president and publisher. “There is a tremendous amount of corporate and government money going into the development and commercialization of small tech in nearly every industry.”

The Top 10 Small Tech Hot Spots

Small Times magazine determines its rankings based on formulas that use its proprietary research as well as state and federal data.

#1: California’s mix of ideas, innovators, investors and its stomach for risk added up to a #1 ranking. But its lead could narrow if its education system continues to produce a poorly trained workforce. 2003 ranking: 1

#2: Massachusetts does more with less. Others grabbed more research funding, but Massachusetts is better at turning even the crumbs into products. 2003 ranking: 2

#3 New Mexico — is it treading water or riding a wave? The success of innovators who sprang from the state’s two national labs offset a drop in research. It remains rich in talent but relatively poor in venture capital. 2003 ranking: 3

#4 New York — called the “Seabiscuit” of small tech by the editors, New York gained three slots to jump to #4. With support from the state and corporate thoroughbreds like IBM, New York is poised to be an industry leader. 2003 ranking: 7

#5 Texas retained its status with a mix of old and new blood in the most affordable of the top 10 states. But can it transform its inexpensive labor into a highly skilled workforce? 2003 ranking: 5

#6 Illinois may be on the brink of explosive growth or an implosion. Research powerhouses in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign continued to gain federal research dollars, but that has yet to evolve into a sizable business cluster. 2003 ranking: 8

#7 Pennsylvania’s strengths in micro- and nanotechnology plus its partnerships make it a contender. 2003 ranking: 10

# 8 Michigan’s academic institutions increasingly embrace small tech, and industry is following suit. The state’s ability to transform lab-based ideas into products and solutions is building a foundation for sustained growth. 2003 ranking: 9

#9 Connecticut has a diverse economy, a location near small tech hot spots Massachusetts and New York, and Yale University’s well-reputed nanoelectronics program. 2003 ranking: 14

#10 Ohio’s strong engineering schools and applied science programs complement small tech research efforts in its medical, space and military labs. Ohio is developing its research expertise into inventions, products and a mix of companies that could grow into a commercial force. 2003 ranking: 17

States to Watch

Small Times also identified Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington as contenders.

The Analysis

Small Times ranked the states based on a quantitative analysis that measured their strength in six categories, which were then weighted and added for an overall score between 100 and 1. The categories and weightings are: research, industry, venture capital and innovation, 20 percent each; and workforce and costs, 10 percent each.

The Small Tech Market

Governments and corporations worldwide are spending more than $4 billion this year to fund research and commercialization efforts in a race for the hundreds of billions expected to be generated annually a decade from now.

Small Tech Perspective

Nanotechnology is the creation and use of objects through the manipulation of atoms and molecules. Currently used in materials and coatings for metals, fibers and cosmetics, nanotechnology is expected to have pervasive uses in drug delivery, computing, communications and defense.

Microsystems are built on a scale of millionths of a meter and are often created through technologies used to develop silicon-based integrated circuits. Microsystems often contain sensing and mechanical capabilities and are used today in many consumer electronics, automotive applications and in a growing number of medical devices. MEMS are microelectromechanical systems.

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