The Keystone State lags in number of patents, new companies, jobs at young firms, and jobs in technologically advanced industries, according to a report from the
The report, issued Tuesday, looked at spending by state and local governments, as well as businesses and universities, on research and development and other incentives.
"The state was a leader on this and has gone sideways," said
That matters, the Brookings researchers say, because innovation produces a steady stream of new, highly competitive products and services for national and global markets, which in turn benefits the economy and creates high-quality jobs in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, or energy.
"The jobs that come out of the innovation economy are jobs that are pathways to the middle class," said
The authors say political disagreement over the state's role in economic development and a struggle to bring stakeholders together have led to less state spending on innovation and have combined with several other factors to slow progress. According to the report:
-- Advanced industries in
-- State and local government support for university research and development has declined.
-- The state's rankings by indices that measure major state innovation have largely flatlined over the last decade.
A spokesperson for the
"Direct investment in research and development is one aspect. But investment in public schools, affordable higher education, and nimble workforce development initiatives that respond to the market are critical as well," said
The city could reach greater heights with more state support, the Brookings report said, adding that it has been outpaced by competitors such as
Political gridlock between the Republican legislature and Democratic governor could be partly to blame; in rural areas where innovation is already stagnant, it can be difficult for lawmakers to see how new initiatives would benefit them, Muro said.
" 'Innovation' unfortunately has become a buzzword. .... Many folks don't necessarily see the straight line between a robust state innovation policy and how it affects their day-to-day life," said Robert Maxim, the other author of the report. "This really is a hugely important topic when it comes to creating new jobs, employment, and higher standards of living for people in all communities."
"Can a metropolitan area with some real assets become a real star nationally without some prioritization from the state?" Muro said. "That's the big question, and maybe the hard question, to answer."
While the state may have stagnated, the city invested more time and energy into the innovation economy over the last 15 years, Bergheiser said, pointing to endeavors like the Navy Yard, growing as a biotechnology hub; Pennovation Center, the
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