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By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
The state has made some significant improvements in advancing its knowledge-based economy but there are still lacking areas with room for improvement, according to the 2012 Rhode Island Innovation Index, released Thursday.
According to this year’s benchmarking report, areas of strength in the Ocean State include not-for-profit research and development performance, academic research and development performance, federal R&D performance, venture capital investments and higher education attainment.
Alternatively, the report also identified areas of concern including state appropriations for higher education, math scores at the eighth grade level, industry R&D, net migration of the working age population, entrepreneurial climate, gross state product and the employment in science and technology industries and their occupations.
The index evaluated the state’s performance in 23 different categories using several different indicators, including topics ranging from access to high speed internet, to the number of patents that have been issued. Data was compared to national figures as well as New England and the 27 Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) states.
The figures were prepared by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the R.I. Science & Technology Advisory Council and released at the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy Forum, which hosted by the chamber and the Innovation Providence Implementation Council.
According to the chamber, the building of a knowledge-based economy has drawn the input of more than 500 leaders over the last four years, when the initiative started. Those efforts have included entrepreneurs, representatives of higher education, business leaders and representatives of both the public and private sector.