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Virginia launches web portal to track ‘innovation economy’

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Virginia has launched a new online portal to measure performance of the commonwealth’s “innovation economy.”

The Commonwealth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System (IEMS) was developed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

“This system, which is available to the public, provides a dashboard and strategic path to new opportunities in the innovation economy using key indicators that can assist lawmakers, industry leaders and other stakeholders determine the best public-private investment priorities and policies,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

The portal tracks five areas of innovation economy, including the talent pipeline, research and development, access to capital, commercialization and business dynamics. A final category, outputs, measures the economic impact of innovation and entrepreneurship in Virginia’s economy.

Data used on the site come from federal, state and private sources. So far, here’s an outline of how Virginia measures up. Details can be found here

Talent pipeline:
Improving: Increase in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees awarded, Increasing participation in FIRST, an organization that encourages students to pursue STEM degrees
Maintaining: Concentration of high-tech employment
Worsening: Migration of educated adults

Access to capital:
Improving: Research and development tax credits offered
Worsening: Private investment

Research & Development:
Improving: Corporate R&D intensity (measurement of R&D performed by businesses as percentage of private output), Virginia R&D intensity, increased number of patents filed and awarded
Worsening: Federal research and development obligations, Decline in awards received from federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Improving: Creation of university startups
Worsening: Declining number of university licenses

Business dynamics:
Improving: Increase in fast-growing firms, increased initial public offering and mergers and acquisitions, entrepreneurial activity and broadband access
Worsening: Establishment churn, which considers replacement of older firms with newer, innovative companies

Improving: Share of Virginia company revenues from high-tech firms, improving market trends for key industry sectors
Maintaining: The share of high-tech wages, growth of firms that have an average annual employment growth rate greater than 50 percent over two years, work-force education level
Worsening: High-tech share of Virginia exports, high-tech job creation share

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