Raleigh, NC – North Carolina is in the midst of transitioning to a knowledge- and innovation- based economy, with many high-tech sectors increasing in employment and high-tech wages well above the national average. That’s according to data compiled in the 2013 Tracking Innovation report released today by the N.C. Board of Science and Technology.
Another indicator of North Carolina’s move to a knowledge-based economy is the state’s strong universities, which excel at research & development, generate significant intellectual property, and produce a well-educated and well- trained science and engineering workforce.
“What this report reveals about North Carolina is critically important if we want to accelerate our recovery from the deepest recession in more than a generation,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “This report highlights key trends and themes that must be considered when undertaking efforts to promote economic opportunity throughout the state.”
The report tracks North Carolina’s performance in 38 measures of the state’s innovation-related assets, activities, and trends. Findings by category include:
- Economic Well-Being: North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation, but the productive capacity of its economy is below average, with a higher-than-average share of its residents either unemployed or with low wages and incomes.
- Research & Development: North Carolina excels at academic research & development, but the total level of the state’s R&D, particularly that performed by businesses, is insufficient to fuel and sustain strong economic growth.
- Commercialization: North Carolina organizations, especially its academic institutions, generate significant intellectual property, but the level of the state’s commercialization activities must be stronger to realize the full economic and social benefits of that intellectual property.
- Innovative Organizations: North Carolina’s high-technology sectors have wages well above the U.S. average and are increasing in employment, but a large share of the state’s industries and employment is not high-tech in nature and has below-average levels of entrepreneurship.
- Education & Workforce: North Carolina has a well-educated and well-trained science & engineering workforce at the more-advanced levels, but the overall educational attainment level of its residents is below average, as is the educational attainment level of a majority of its recent in-migrants.
“We hope this information will assist efforts underway to build effective partnerships between higher education, industry and government,” added Decker. “I know that the N.C. Economic Development Board is reviewing the report and will be including the report’s findings in its 10-year strategic plan.”
The report can be found at http://www.nccommerce.com/scitech/resources/innovation-reports.
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