. "6 Next Steps to Enhance Science and Technology Policy Advice at the State Level." State Science and Technology Policy Advice: Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges: Summary of a National Convocation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
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State Science and Technology Policy Advice: Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges - Summary of a National Convocation
work together and learn from each other. Colleges and universities, other nonprofit research institutions, federal laboratories, state academies of science, and state science and technology councils can all act to enhance the science and technology base in a state and connect that base to the state’s goals. Furthermore, all of these institutions are working effectively in some states and not others. A mechanism for sharing best practices and innovative approaches could strengthen policy advice in all states.
States need to establish systems to measure the results of initiatives involving science and technology. Once money is spent, the legislature and governor are going to ask what was accomplished and why the state should continue to fund these activities. Again, some states already have made considerable progress. For example, the Massachusetts Innovation Index measures every step of the innovation process, including research and development, commercialization, patents, royalties, and outputs in terms of new jobs. Measures should not include just inputs but also outputs in terms of facilities, patents, personnel, education, and so on. Other possible measures are industry interactions, collaborations, invention disclosures, licensing, venture capital attracted, new companies formed, industry concentrations increased, companies retained, employment increased, the number of high-value-added jobs created, graduate students hired in the state, existing industries transformed, and new industries developed. “There needs to be some type of an accounting system in place,” said Henton. “Promises can’t be made for future results. Results need to be measured from the outset of an effort.”
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
“The United States is entering a new era of scientific and technological development, one where the states assume a much greater role than has been the case in the past,” said Jay Cole. “We are fairly early in the history of the state science and technology policy movement, and recognizing this also allows us in a sense to recognize that we’re making this history. We’re in uncharted territory, and we need to learn from everything we’re doing so that we continue to make progress in the future.”
Participants were particularly enthusiastic to recreate the dynamism and synergy of the convocation. “We’ve been hoping to have a meeting of this sort for many years,” said Susan Hackwood. Although California has had an active state-level science and technology policy advising system, it has known little about what other states are doing, and “for us that’s been a big handicap, so I’m delighted for this meeting.” According to Gerry O’Keefe, “This kind of meeting is unique. I’ve learned a great deal, and I think my colleagues have learned a great deal…. Kudos to the National