Action 7: Accelerate Science and Technology Research
Support the Science and Technology Council
Attracting federal research dollars into the state is an important economic development strategy for Rhode Island, as it capitalizes on our high density of institutions of higher learning, our population’s entrepreneurial bent and our exceptional talent pool of 80,000 post-secondary students – at more than 8 percent of our population, among the highest proportions of advanced learners in the 50 states.
The Obama administration has indicated that it will make science and technology enterprise a major component of the rejuvenation of the U.S. economy — an opportunity for Rhode Island to capture a larger share of research and development dollars. While Rhode Island overall fares reasonably well in comparison with other states, it lags behind its neighbors Connecticut and Massachusetts. Here is an area where we can improve our competitiveness within our region.
RIEDC has a tremendous resource in this endeavor in the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC), a coalition of business, academic and government leaders who advise Rhode Island’s government leaders on the important role of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in strengthening the economy. STAC will be called upon to develop a strategy for accelerating science and technology research.
RIEDC will make continued state financial support for the STAC a top economic development priority and will work to strengthen the bonds between STAC and its Research Alliance with private businesses, hospitals and federal laboratories. RIEDC will support STAC’s initiatives to address the skills gap and to create opportunities for participation in the 21st-century innovation and knowledge economy in all of the state’s communities.