Uh, oh: Virginia Falling in Technology Index

First Virginia fell to second place in the Forbes “Best States for Business” ranking. I was so depressed that I couldn’t blog about it. Now, we’ve fallen from 6th to 8th place in the Milken Institute’s 2010 State Technology and Science Index. I guess I can’t ignore our declining status any longer.

Here is the Virginia summary:

Virginia remained in the top 10, but fell from sixth to eighth. Virginia registered its best performances in technology concentration and dynamism (fourth), and technology and science workforce (sixth). Much of this strength stems from the Eastern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., which have benefitted from their proximity to the federal government, a cluster of data-processing firms, and defense and aerospace contractors. Virginia’s overall slippage was attributable partly to a decline in human capital investment from eighth in the 2008 index to 15th this year. Virginia’s indigenous innovation ecosystem that spawns new firms is less extensive than those of Massachusetts and California. But Governor Bob McDonnell has signed bills in support of his “jobs and opportunity agenda” that attempt to address this gap. The legislation will exempt capital gains taxes on investments in start-up tech or biotech firms.

You can find the detailed numbers for the Old Dominion here.

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5 responses to “Uh, oh: Virginia Falling in Technology Index”

  1. Part of the problem is that leadership is still not plugging into the clean energy program. Like it or not, clean energy technology is going to matter more and more as a vital part of regular technology services. Virginia has ample resources for clean energy, but right now leadership is still under the spell of fossil fuel lobbying.

    Virginia Tech engineering has done some great research. What is VCU engineering doing? I am not the only one asking…

  2. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    This might be an interesting point, sort of.
    First, there are plenty of rankings out there and I'm not so sure that one survey means more than another or that a shade up or down is worth concern.
    Secondly, it is true that Virginia doesn't have the innovation pipeline of Masschusetts or a California. Virginia's VT, while a good school, is not on the research par as MIT or CalTech which are also in major urban areas, not hundreds of miles away in the hills.
    Much of Virginia's innovation, based on patents, comes from the military or Philip Morris. Since the latter makes products that are obvious health hazards, its research pass-along value is dubious. Unfortunately, Richmond's tech center boast pretty much of the cigarette maker whose research is secret or shunned by many scientists in other states. Unfortutanely, Richmond's Pooh-Bahs went along with PM dominating the Richmond research park which has produced very little in the way of viable firms. One of the three firms that actually went public went bust once again just recently. It is too bad that Richmond didn't learn from N.C.'s Research Trianle years ago.
    These are some of the limitations of Virginia and R&D. It seems to be stuck in an "also-ran status and its most prestigious schools such as UVA and William & Mary are better known for their liberal arts or law schools than for sience.

    Peter Galuszka

  3. What? No capital gains exemptiins for farms? Farms are very high tech these days. My tractor has satellite radio.

    Its not fair, I tell you. The exemption should be across the board: x dollars exemption for y dollars worth of job created. I could invest in grapes and hire a high tech sommalier to make the wine. Who cares what the job is at this point?

  4. " Virginia needs to add over 263,000 jobs in order to return to pre-recession
    employment levels. To fill the current 263,000 jobs-gap by the beginning of
    2012, Virginia would need to add roughly 24,906 jobs per month every month
    this year. To fill the gap by the beginning of 2013, Virginia would need to add
    roughly 13,929 jobs per month every month of the next two years. But the
    fastest average monthly job growth ever in a year, going all the way back to 1939,
    was only 10,683 jobs between 1996 and 1997"


  5. My point exactly: who cares what jobs, at this point in time? we need every one we can get.

    Maybe when a few more no-growthers are out of work we will here their tune change.

    This morning in the convenience store a young,neatly attired, black man addressed me politely and asked if I had any work that needed to be done.

    Unofficial day labor gathering sites are not unusual, but directly and personally panhandling for a job is more rare.

    I had to tell him I had more work to do than money to pay for it with, at the moment, and took his name and number for next time.

    But, I could have plenty of work for a few people, if the county would just allow it. But I don't have the time, energy, or capital to invest if I have to spend time screwing around with the county.

    Last weeks headline in the local paper: "Marriott Ranch Wishes to Expand Events Usage" as if this was the worst thing in the world.

    "Oh my God, Someone Wants to DO SOMETHING"

    For gods sake, just let them.

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