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New Jersey ,”Innovation State”, Not Really


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Indicators of Innovation, a report issued today by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, shows New Jersey at a challenging crossroads in its efforts to reclaim itself as the “Innovation State.”
New Jersey ranked fifth out of the seven states with a cumulative innovation score of 41. New York ranked first in the region with a score of 71, followed by Massachusetts (63), Pennsylvania (49), Maryland (46), New Jersey (41), Delaware (34) and Connecticut (33).In addition to the 12 indicators analyzed in the report, NJBIA also observes additional factors in a New Jersey-Massachusetts comparison that can help jumpstart and sustain an innovation ecosystem.

Among the findings in the Indicators of Innovation report, authored by NJBIA Policy Analyst Nicole Sandelier:

New Jersey’s venture capital investment in 2017 was $781 million, compared to the $8.97 billion received by Massachusetts and $12.27 billion received by New York.

New Jersey increased its venture capital investment at a lower rate than all seven states in the region between 2004 and 2017.

New Jersey companies received less than $52 million in award obligation for federal R&D funding efforts in 2017, compared to nearly $271 million awarded to Massachusetts. The state also received less award funding than Maryland ($124 million), New York ($114 million) and Pennsylvania ($98 million).

In 2018, New Jersey received $157 million in National Science Foundation College/University funding – significantly less than regional competitors New York ($466 million), Massachusetts ($415 million) and Pennsylvania ($253 million).

New Jersey is home to three “Top 100” colleges/universities ranked in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report, compared to 10 each in Massachusetts and New York; and six in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey lost a net total of more than 28,000 first-time college students in the fall of 2016, the largest loss in the nation. By regional comparison, Pennsylvania had a net gain of nearly 17,000 students that year.

In 2017, New Jersey was fifth out of seven states with 15.6 percent of its population possessing a graduate or professional degree. In comparison, Massachusetts’ graduate and professional degree holders represented 19.5 percent of its population.

New Jersey does fare well in the Rate of Entrepreneurs regionally, with 340 adults starting a business for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017. That’s second in the region behind New York, which totaled 360 business starters per 100,000 adults.

New Jersey’s startup density was 76.1 per 1,000 employer firms in 2017, good for third in the region behind New York (83.3 per 1,000 firms) and Delaware (77 per 1,000 firms).

In 2017, New Jersey ranked fourth in the region with more than 8,600 patents issued. Massachusetts (more than 15,000 patents issued) and New York (nearly 14,700 patents issued) held a decided advantage.

From 2015 to 2016, New Jersey experienced a 0.44 percent increase in total businesses – which is sixth in the region. Delaware enjoyed a 2.03 percent increase in total businesses during that span.

New Jersey finished last out of seven regional states in NJBIA’s 2018 Regional Business Climate analysis, which scores metrics such as each state’s minimum wage, top income tax rate, top corporate tax rate, sales tax rate, property tax paid percentage and unemployment tax rate.

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