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NHs Innovation Plan
Published Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Government, education and business leaders came together in October to unveil the NH University Research & Industry Plan commissioned by NH EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) to highlight the state’s innovation strengths and weaknesses, and present strategies to capitalize and improve on them.

Here are some of the key findings:

•New Hampshire has a 20% higher level of university research than the nation when adjusted for size of the economy.

•The state has more than a 200% higher level of patent activity than the nation when adjusted for size of the economy.

•New Hampshire has a 3% higher share of advanced industry employment than the nation.

•The state lags the nation in growth in advanced industry employment (2.9% in NH versus 9.1% nationally).

•New Hampshire lags the nation in growth in industry and university research since the 2009 economic recovery (5.1% industry R&D growth in NH versus 17.8% nationally and 6.7% in NH’s university R&D growth versus 16.2% nationally).

•The state needs to encourage more collaborations between industry and universities.

•The state needs to boost entrepreneurial activity.

•The state needs to attract and retain more skilled talent.

Action Items
Nationwide, high-wage jobs and robust innovation-based economies are associated with strong relationships between business and research universities. New Hampshire has untapped potential to improve its economy by developing synergies between industry and university research enterprises.

Specifically, there are three innovation clusters in NH: Information Systems, Advanced Manufacturing and Biosciences. The problem is industry-university research collaborations are not a strength for NH, per the report. The state stands below the U.S. average for industry funding of university research and among the bottom third of the benchmark states.

Opportunities in these three areas are:
•Advanced Manufacturing: Industry executives said there are few, if any, statewide networking opportunities to learn about university capabilities, concerns that smaller industry projects are discouraged by universities due to resource constraints and limited opportunities to engage students around industry research needs via co-ops and internships. There is also a gap between universities and the aerospace-related industry.

•Information Systems: There are limited R&D connections and joint curriculum development between universities and industry, which has resulted in missed opportunities in developing students’ core skills in areas, such as cybersecurity, digital health and internet of things (IoT).

• Biosciences: Existing university research centers are generating  startups, especially in biotech but missing ties to medical devices.

For more information, visit NHResearchAndIndustry.org.

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