Pennsylvania’s innovation economy could use a boost in state investment, writes Michelle Caffrey for Philadelphia Business Journal.
Infrastructure and resources exist to fuel a vibrant innovation economy, but a lack of state investment holds it back, stated a Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program report.
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were well above the rest of the state in research and development, patent applications and venture capital funding.
The report asked if the region needs state support to continue its innovation growth.
“We believe that it does,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program.
In places with more mature innovation ecosystems, like Massachusetts and the Bay Area, a common denominator was strong state support, Muro said.
The Brookings report focused on Pennsylvania’s main innovation funding mechanism, the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and its Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) network.
BFTP has seen state support cut from $28 million to $14 million since 2008.
“The demand we’re seeing from Philadelphia is huge, so there’s an opportunity cost to not having sufficient dollars to get more and more companies going,” said RoseAnn Rosenthal, CEO of BFTP’s Southeastern Pennsylvania arm. “The underinvestment will show.”
Read more about Pennsylvania’s innovation economy here.