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For the second consecutive year, Connecticut has been ranked as the nation’s fourth most innovative economy.  California, Massachusetts and Washington ranked one-two-three in Bloomberg’s annual State Innovation Index, for the third straight year.  Oregon moved up to number five, two spots higher than a year ago.

The ranking is based on six equally weighted metrics: research and development intensity, productivity, clusters of companies in technology, STEM jobs, residents with degrees in science and engineering disciplines and patent activity.

Connecticut ranked second for patent activity—its highest ranking among the six categories. Bloomberg ranked Connecticut between 8th and 12th in each of the other equally-weighted metric: R&D intensity, productivity, and technology clusters, STEM concentration, and science and engineering degree holders.

California ranked first in the Bloomberg index for patent activity and second for both technology-company density and concentration of science- and engineering-degree holders. Its state university system and pre-eminence in research — along with private Stanford University — have been influential in building Silicon Valley, headquarters for established tech companies including Alphabet’s Google and Apple and also the breeding ground for budding startups, according to published reports.


According to a joint report from PwC and CB Insights, Bloomberg noted, the top five highest-valued private U.S. tech companies are all California-based: JUUL Labs, Stripe, Airbnb, Space X and Palantir Technologies.  Among U.S. companies that went public last year, the five with the highest year-to-date returns also are in California: Zoom Video Communications, IT-service provider Fastly and life-science specialty businesses Vir Biotechnology, Livongo Health and IDEAYA Biosciences.

Second place Massachusetts topped the list for tech-company density, led by corporate names familiar to Connecticut residents – General Electric, Raytheon (which merged with United Technologies last year), Thermo Fisher Scientific and Biogen.

Colorado is the only state in the top 10 that isn’t on the West or East coasts.  Maryland ranked number 6, followed by New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire and Colorado.  Alabama was the biggest mover, rising five spots to No. 41.  The next largest jump (4 slots) occurred in three states – Utah, which advanced to ranking #12 from #16, Rhode Island climbed to #19 from #23, and Alaska moved up to #23 from #27.

The bottom five states in the rankings were Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi.

Internationally, the most innovative nations are Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Finland, Denmark, United States, and France, according to Bloomberg’s ranking.

Source: CT By the Numbers