State Rankings Part Six: The all-category summary

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In this summation of the category-specific state rankings that Small Times has produced over the past several issues, we reveal the ultimate all-category standings of U.S. states that lead the nation in small tech. Our rankings incorporate previously reported scores in the areas of venture capital (July/Aug. 2006), industry (Sept./Oct. 2006), research (Nov./Dec. 2006), innovation (Jan./Feb. 2007), and work force (Mar./Apr. 2007)-and they follow standard models for tracking knowledge-based economies (see “How the rankings work, ” above, for methodology).

If you’ve been following Small Times’ state rankings over the years, you’ll notice that this latest edition reports a bit of jostling. For instance, instead of tying with Texas for fifth place as it did last time (see “Making strides,” Mar. 2005, p. 28), Michigan pulled ahead thanks to its ability to attract new grants for work in small tech. Maryland and Illinois swapped places-mainly because of Maryland’s strong placement in the work force category (which is due to a high ratio of the number of science and engineering doctorates).

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But California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New York maintained the one through four positions, as before.

The most dramatic mover may be Pennsylvania, which last time ranked 13th (but has placed in the top 10 previously). The state placed fifth (as opposed to seventh last time) in terms of research, having brought in substantial dollars through many micro- and nanotechnology grants. Pennsylvania’s industry score helped, too, owing to the Philadelphia region’s pharmaceuticals and life-sciences cluster, and thanks to Greater Pittsburgh’s MEMS and materials strength.

Going the opposite direction, North Carolina placed 20th this year as compared to ninth in the last ranking. But that is mostly due to growth in the competition. For instance, New Jersey-which did not get a mention last time-garnered high scores in both industry and innovation.


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