Not Just a Silicon Valley Phenomenon, High-Tech Innovation Shapes Georgia, Too, Says Leading Tech Policy Think Tank in Study of U.S. Congressional Districts
WASHINGTON—While policy discussions about technology and innovation issues often focus narrowly on iconic places like Silicon Valley or Boston’s Route 128 corridor, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) reported in a new study that high-tech innovation plays a critical role in the economy in all 14 congressional districts in Georgia, too.
ITIF, the leading U.S. think tank for science and technology policy, examined 20 indicators of the innovation-driven high-tech economy—both traditional economic data such as technology exports and newer metrics such as broadband deployment—to paint statistical portraits of all 435 U.S. congressional districts, 50 states, and the District of Columbia. It found a nation in which the drivers of high-tech innovation are widely diffused.
“The myopic view that the high-tech economy is only Silicon Valley and a few other bright spots like Boston or North Carolina’s Research Triangle is flat wrong,” said Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF’s president. “Indeed, all districts in Georgia have some kind of tech-driven activity occurring locally. This should serve as a signal to every member of Congress from Georgia and the rest of the country that tech matters to their states and districts, so they should support broad-based, bipartisan policies to spur further innovation and growth at home and across the nation.”
The new ITIF report includes statistical profiles of Georgia and each of its congressional districts, as well as specific examples of companies, universities, and other organizations driving innovation locally.
Georgia ranked among the top 10 states for the following indicators of the innovation-driven high-tech economy:
- Computer and math share of STEM workers (#4)
- IT services exports (#7)
- Royalty and license services exports (#9)
Congressional districts in Georgia also ranked in the top 50 districts nationally for the following indicators:
- Computer and math share of STEM workers (GA-13, #45; GA-02, #33; GA-06, #2; GA-07, #23)
- Computer and math workers (GA-06, #9; GA-07, #32)
- Highly educated immigrant workers (GA-06, #32)
- High-tech sector workers (GA-05, #17; GA-06, #19)
- High-tech share of all manufacturing exports (GA-07, #50)
- High-tech share of total workforce (GA-05, #14; GA-06, #20)
- IT services exports (GA-06, #11; GA-05, #13)
- IT share of all services exports (GA-06, #20; GA-04, #26)
- Public R&D funding (GA-05, #21)
- Royalty and license services exports (GA-06, #21)
- Royalty and license share of all services exports (GA-07, #31; GA-04, #48)
- STEM share of total workforce (GA-06, #16)
- STEM workers (GA-06, #17)
“The country’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy really is much more widely diffused than most people imagine,” said Atkinson. “We urge members of Congress and other policymakers to find common cause in advancing an agenda that continues to build up the foundations of an innovation-driven economy, including a highly skilled workforce, robust research and development spending, digital-age infrastructure, and globally competitive tech-driven industries. It’s the surest way to raise productivity, bolster competitiveness, and boost wages.”
To read the report, browse interactive maps, and download individual profiles for Georgia and each of its congressional districts, visit itif.org/technation.