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Md. ranks among best for tech economy

(kwanchaidp / Depositphotos.com)

(kwanchaidp / Depositphotos.com)

Maryland placed third on think tank Milken Institute’s 2018 State Technology and Science Index, ranking innovation pipelines. Maryland also placed third in 2016’s report.

The survey tries to find which states are best positioned to grow in the future, including by adapting to new technologies as they become more prominent.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that says it is determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. The index ranks states in five categories, where Maryland finished on a range from first to eleventh.

The state has the best technology and science workforce, finishing well ahead of its next-ranking competitor, Washington. Within the category, Maryland ranked first for concentration of computer and information science experts, second for the concentration of engineers and second for the concentration of life and physical scientists.

“Maryland has an above average concentration in eight high-tech sectors and has employment growth above the national average in five high-tech industries,” the report said. “This state directly benefits from proximity to the nation’s capital and is home to many federal agencies that employ a large high-tech workforce.”

Maryland also finished second in research and development inputs, second in human capital investment, sixth in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and eleventh in technology concentration and dynamism.

Gov. Larry Hogan said the report was a sign that Maryland was on the right path.

“Our administration has been laser-focused on growing our state’s economy, creating jobs, and broadening opportunities for our citizens,” he said in a statement. “We remain committed to fostering an innovation-friendly environment that allows us to continue to grow key industries like technology and life sciences. This recognition from the Milken Institute shows that we are making critical progress toward ensuring that the jobs of the future are created right here in Maryland.”

2018 was a strong year for Maryland’s innovation economy. More money flowed into startups in 2018 from venture capital than the state had seen in decades. One of the state’s most prominent startups, cybersecurity firm Tenable, reached its exit with an initial public offering last summer.

The state also may have found some projects that can create infrastructure for the future, including plans to turn new development at Baltimore’s Port Covington into “Cyber Town USA.” Maryland could also see some benefits from Amazon’s decision to locate one of its new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

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