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Innovation sector driving Massachusetts economy, report says

By Jack Newsham Globe Correspondent 

The state’s Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has released its annual innovation index for 2014, and the numbers make the state look pretty good.

Massachusetts has more scientists and engineers per capita than other states, and they write more academic papers for less money. It draws more venture capital as a share of its economy than any other state. A larger share of its population consists of new arrivals than the silicon-and-sun-soaked landscape of California, and the state grants more degrees per citizen in scientific fields than 10 other top innovation states.

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One end result, according to the public agency, has been jobs. Since 2003, some 100,000 jobs have been created in 11 sectors the group said were key to innovation, while the number of jobs in other sectors has dropped.

The report “highlights how the innovation economy can help drive the Commonwealth’s economic success, in both good times and bad,” said Patrick Larkin, director of the Innovation Institute at the collaborative.

This year’s index wasn’t all upbeat, however. It noted that the recession had done serious damage to incomes in Massachusetts as in other states, and it said the region’s natural gas shortfalls hit some industries especially hard. Citing US Census data, the report also found that Massachusetts commuters spent an average of 234 hours a year in transit, above the national average of 212.

The index has been compiled annually since the late 1990s using a combination of data from governments and trade associations.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.