Connecticut climbed three places to sixth overall in the Milken Institute's 2016 State Technology and Science Index, the state's best ranking in the biennial study.

The index measures states' technology and science capabilities and their ability to convert those assets into business growth, high-paying jobs, and economic activity.

2016 Milken IndexMassachusetts has topped the index since it was first released in 2002. Colorado, Maryland, California, and Washington rounded out the top five states for 2016.

"This news highlights what we have been saying for some time--that Connecticut has tremendous assets and should be a leader, rather than a laggard, in economic growth and job creation," said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.

"We simply have to do a better job of leveraging, rather than hamstringing, those assets so we can unleash the creative capacity of Connecticut and reach our full economic potential."

The index tracks a range of performance indicators grouped in five segments: research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism.

We have tremendous assets and should be a leader, rather than a laggard, in economic growth and job creation.
— CBIA's Joe Brennan
"How a state fares in the index does not directly correlate to current economic performance and overall job creation," the report's authors noted, "but it does clearly indicate whether the state is likely to create high-paying and future-proof positions."

Connecticut, which the index has always ranked in the top 10 states, improved in four of the five key areas in 2016, including moving from 21st to 10th in technology concentration and dynamism.

"This dramatic rise marks one of the larger overall changes on this index," the report said.

"While modest increases were seen in the research and development inputs index and human capital investment index, these two indices have a much heavier focus on stock measures, and Connecticut’s aerospace and defense sectors help anchor the state’s performance in these areas.

"The major changes for Connecticut came from the risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure and the technology concentration and dynamism indices, which are much more fluid, and can be attributed to the continuing development of the high-tech sector."