UNH Professors: State Must
Leverage Strengths And Address Weaknesses To Sustain Dynamic High
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
April 21, 2005
EDITORS: Ross Gittell is available to answer questions about
the report’s findings. He can be reached at 603-862-3340 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. The full report is available for download
DURHAM, N.H. – New Hampshire must leverage its technology
strengths and address weaknesses if it wants to retain its position
as one of the nation’s strongest high technology states, according
to professors at the University of New Hampshire who today released
their report “High Technology in New Hampshire: The Future
Ross Gittell, professor of management and the James R. Carter Professor,
and Jeff Sohl, professor of entrepreneurship and decision sciences
and director of the Center for Venture Research, both at the UNH Whittemore
School of Business and Economics, presented their findings at a NetworkNH
event Thursday, April 21, in Manchester.
|Ross Gittell, professor of management and the James R.
According to the researchers, the state must leverage specific strengths
to sustain its dynamic high tech economy, including a favorable
business and tax climate, a technology culture and history, quality
of life as a magnet for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs,
access to financial capital, and its proximity to Boston, Route
128 and Cambridge.
“New Hampshire has a resilient high technology economy, and
the future can be bright if vulnerabilities are addressed and opportunities
are captured,” Gittell said.
The researchers outlined several key strategies for the future.
New Hampshire must focus on:
- Technology workforce development with a focus on science and
engineering. This includes strengthening the links between high
tech businesses and higher education, and creating an internship
- Gaps in financing, which can be addressed through private angel
networks and a proposed new leveraged state supported fund, the
- Enhanced investment in research and development, and stimulating
private investment in the state with research and development
tax credits and the National Science Foundation’s Experimental
Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
- Leveraging and growing Defense and Homeland Security related
industries, including fostering commercial spin-offs with increased
federal contracts and collaborations among businesses and with
congressional representatives and state government. This can help
New Hampshire arrest the decline in Defense contracts relative
to the U.S. average, and rise to and above the U.S. average on
Defense contract dollars per worker.
- Promoting and branding the state as a destination for high
technology industries, skilled workers and entrepreneurs, highlighting
its quality of life, business climate and economic resiliency.
“States on the leading edge of technological innovation have
the highest per capita incomes in the nation. High tech jobs pay
75 percent higher wages than other industries, and one third of
the New Hampshire Gross State Product is directly or indirectly
tied to high technology. High technology is an engine for growth
in the research and development, innovation, and new product development
base of our state’s economy,” Gittell said.
The decline in high technology employment began in December 2000
in New Hampshire as well as other technology states. However, the
Granite State experienced a more pronounced decline in percentage
terms than other states – losing one out of every three jobs
compared with the national average of one out of every five –
because New Hampshire’s decline was concentrated in contract
and commodity-like nondefense related manufacturing, according to
the researchers. The result was the state’s high technology
employment rank dropped from first in the mid-1990s to third in
1998 to 10th among 50 states (American Electronics Association).
High tech manufacturing jobs dropped in several sectors, including
semiconductors and printed circuit boards. These jobs have not been
recovered. In addition, the state experienced a pronounced retrenchment
in some sectors of high technology services in the tech “bust”
of early 2000s, including wired telecommunications carriers, data
processing/warehousing, telecommunications resellers, and software.
However, the state’s recovery, which started in October 2003,
has been stronger than recoveries in most other states. Employment
in the state’s stable defense-related industry helped New
Hampshire get through the recession and recovery. One-fifth of all
high tech jobs now in the state are aligned with this one sector,
and without it, high tech employment would have declined more than
40 percent. In addition, some resilient high technology service
industries have experienced recovery in the last year, including
engineering services, computer programming, computer system design,
and research and development in the physical, engineering and life