SOURCE: MassTLC

MassTLC

March 13, 2015 11:00 ET

Mass Technology Leadership Council Delivers "State of Technology" Report at 2015 Annual Meeting

Halfway Through the 2020 Challenge to Add 100,000 New Jobs to the Local Economy, Opportunity and Risk Found in Talent, Competitiveness, Innovation, Investment and Infrastructure

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Mar 13, 2015) - The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) today released its annual State of Technology report -- highlighting successes while calling out key areas where more and faster progress is critical in terms of jobs, investment, education, business climate, government policy and competitiveness.

Issued by Massachusetts' premier trade association serving the innovation ecosystem, the report updates stakeholders at the halfway point of its 2020 Challenge. In 2010, MassTLC called upon the state's public and private sectors to work together on investing in the Commonwealth's innovation economy. The goal was to stave off complacency, emphasize the state's existing strengths and anticipate what's next in order to add 100,000 new jobs.

Massachusetts has made advancements, but risks remain. Rededicating itself to the goals set forth in the report, MassTLC underscored the importance of open dialogs and strong working relationships across all key constituencies as the state welcomes a new governor, several mayors and multiple elected and appointed officials; a new president set to take the helm of the University of Massachusetts; and new leadership at major civic institutions such as the Mass Taxpayers Foundation, Mass Competitive Partnership, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

With change comes an infusion of fresh ideas and an opportunity to build on the momentum gathered. Among the highlights of the 2015 State of Technology Report:

Job Creation
From 2010 to 2013 (the latest figures available), Massachusetts added 17,650 new jobs in high technology -- impressive, though short of the aspirational goal of 25,820 set for that period. High tech jobs bring with them the promise of positive economic and social impacts, contributing to the overall economic health of the state.

Job creation requires developing, attracting and retaining people with the skills and talent to fill needed roles. These efforts begin at the K-12 level and continue through college and professional education. MassTLC believes that talent development also means achieving more diversity by attracting more women and underserved minorities -- with programs designed to teach marketable entry level skills and matriculate to four year degree programs. By ensuring clear career pathways for students, this process expands the pipeline of talent so needed in the Commonwealth. Staking a leadership role in these areas will make Massachusetts a magnet for an ever-growing workforce that values talent, energy and ambition over all else.

Innovation, Investment and Infrastructure
While nowhere else in the world can match the combination and density of strengths in the Massachusetts technology ecosystem, continued improvements in innovation, investment and infrastructure are vital to the long-term health of our economy. These extend from the well-known institutions of Cambridge and Boston far beyond Route 128 to the central and western parts of the state. Achievements in this arena during the past four years include the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGi) at Becker College in Worcester, the Worcester Incubator, Springfield's TechSpring, the Holyoke Innovation District and Green High Performance Computing Center, the Route 3 Tech Corridor, New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at UMass-Lowell and the Woods Hole Marine Robotics Center.

Continued focus on industries such as Biotech, Big Data, Information Security and the Internet of Things will ensure Massachusetts is positioned for future growth in sectors that are already experiencing rapid expansion and high demand.

More must be done to ensure the Commonwealth's centers of innovation are accessible to the people and ideas driving them. February's weather exposed troubling weaknesses in the public transportation infrastructure that must be addressed to ensure that mass transit is readily available to the metropolitan workforce while connecting the Greater Boston area with Merrimack Valley, Worcester County, Southeastern Massachusetts and Western Mass and the Berkshires.

Competitiveness and Business Certainty
Public policy is one area where dramatic change can occur that quickly and positively alters the landscape. The private sector must work closely with government to develop an agenda that improves competitiveness in areas such as tax policy, legal reform and healthcare that can improve opportunities for companies already here, and make Massachusetts a more attractive place to relocate or open significant satellite operations.

MassTLC believes that the state legislature and Governor Baker can take bold steps now to reform the independent contractor law, adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, develop a more balanced tax policy, and explore ways to reduce healthcare and energy costs for Massachusetts employers. The state must also investigate and act on ways to increase affordable housing.

At the federal level, MassTLC urges the state's congressional delegation to support the Tax Freedom Act, a federal data breach notification law, patent litigation reform, tax reform, immigration reform and to expand international free trade agreements.

Conclusion
Technology advances quickly. There are many regions across the country and around the world competing for a chance to be leaders in the next technological era. Massachusetts is resurgent, but to be a dominant force that builds on its current leadership standing, the state must be smart and play to its strengths. MassTLC believes that requires public and private leaders come together to develop the initiatives that enhance Massachusetts' world-class talent advantage, develop its competitive position, and invest in its innovation infrastructure. Notably, it takes the collective vision, commitment, partnership and will of all key stakeholders to do what is necessary to make it happen.

Supporting Quotations:
Tom Hopcroft, President and CEO, MassTLC
"Massachusetts became a leader in the innovation economy because of our unique intersection of size, density and creative energy, supported by a wide and deep industry, academic and social fabric. In the march toward 2020, we're optimistic that the Commonwealth can build on these assets to strengthen its technology leadership, inclusiveness, and economic outlook."

John Landry, Founder, Lead Dog Ventures
"Innovation is the key to a vibrant Massachusetts economy, and while we have a long history of innovation here, we cannot afford to rest. Everyone wants what we have here; continued public and private investment in our state's education, infrastructure, and pro-innovation policies will ensure we retain our position as the envy of the world."

Naomi Fried, PhD, Vice President Medical Information, Innovation and External Partnerships, Biogen Idec
"Why is Massachusetts well-positioned to lead? Because of its unique combination of talent, resources, and infrastructure. The state's incubators, accelerators and dense networks of angels and venture capitalists help translate new discoveries into successful companies. It is not surprising that Massachusetts has given birth to some of the world's leading life-science and healthcare companies over the last several decades."

About The Mass Technology Leadership Council, Inc.
With more than 500 member companies, the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is the region's leading technology association and the premier network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. MassTLC's purpose is to accelerate innovation by connecting people from across the technology landscape, providing access to industry-leading content and ideas and offering a platform for visibility for member companies and their interests. More at www.masstlc.org

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Mike Spinney
    CHEN PR for MassTLC
    PHONE 781-672-3112
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