One of Connecticut’s hallmarks is being a hotspot for technology and innovation, and once again, we’ve placed very high in the State New Economy Index from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

Connecticut ranked No. 9 in this year’s index--moving up one place from ITIF’s previous index in 2012--because of lots of high scores in various categories, including: R&D; managerial, professional, and technical jobs; workforce quality; foreign direct investment; inventor patents; and broadband telecommunication

Referring specifically to the jobs category, but also pretty much painting a picture of Connecticut’s overall success in the index, ITIF said:

“States with high rankings, such as Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut, tend to have a large number of technology and professional service companies and corporate headquarters or regional offices.

“In Connecticut, for example, Hartford is home to insurance and defense headquarters, while southwestern Connecticut is dominated by corporate headquarters, financial services and high-tech jobs—many of which have relocated from New York City.”

It means that Connecticut is a great location for innovation. And that’s a big plus for our economy.

According to the ITIF, the index “measures how states and regions are performing in globalization, technological innovation and entrepreneurial development.”

Here’s the key: The index “ranks states on a series of measures that analyze the economic environment for success in the 21st century.” [emphasis added]

Creating that environment for success—for families, businesses, communities--is also what the new CT20x17 campaign is all about.

The campaign is focusing on three major challenges—costs, infrastructure and quality of life—that are key to creating that kind of environment.

In short, Connecticut needs:

  • More competitive costs to make it easier to live and do business here
  • More dependable infrastructures to make it easier to move people and products around the state and into the world
  • More focus on quality of life to make our state a place where people and businesses choose to live, work, and play.    

While Connecticut has done very well in the ITIF index, our performance in other national competitiveness rankings has not been as good. Last year’s CNBC “America’s Top States for Business” study, for example, placed us 45th in the U.S.

Earlier this week, CNN published a story about “The 5 Worst State Economies,” which unfortunately included Connecticut because of our negative GDP growth (- 5%) since 2007.

And a newly released survey of small businesses gives Connecticut poor grades for helping those entrepreneurs succeed and grow here.

Obviously, we have a lot to do to create that elusive climate of success in Connecticut—but that’s something the CT20x17 campaign will be working on with concerned citizens, business and community leaders, and state policymakers.

Join us in that effort.