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Small Times magazine names Top 10 Small Tech Hot Spots

Ann Arbor, Mich., March 12, 2003 - Small Times magazine has identified the top 10 U.S. states leading the race to become the economic center of small tech, which includes nanotechnology, MEMS and microsystems. Small Times magazine is the leading source of business news and information about the small tech industry.

The states that win the race could all see a significant economic boom. The National Science Foundation projects a $1 trillion annual market by 2015 for nanotechnology alone.

"A growing number of states have targeted small tech as a catalyst for economic growth," said Steve Crosby, vice president and managing editor of Small Times Media. "Small tech is leading existing industries into the next generation of products and helping create entire new industries.

"This year's Small Times magazine rankings show how the leading states are achieving this new growth," said Crosby. "A common theme in every success story is a balanced cluster of new and existing businesses, world-class research, investment capital and a supportive government."

Small Tech Hot Spots

Small Times magazine used a statistical analysis to come up with the rankings, which are part of the March/April cover story. The methodology is detailed later.

#1: California. Topping the Small Times magazine list, California has the critical mass to attract researchers, companies and VC cash, even in rough economic times.

#2: Massachusetts. This state's deep talent pool propelled Massachusetts into second place.

#3: New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment's efforts to wean the state from the federal bankroll are paying off here.

#4: Arizona. Although coming in fourth on the list, years of financial losses are taking a toll on Arizona's corporate R & D programs.

#5: Texas. The Lone Star State's big guns are leading the charge to make the state No. 1, and they could succeed.

#6: Maryland. Maryland's location gives it easy access to the nation's key funding sources.

#7: New York. New York has the Big Apple's brains and bucks and upstate's innovation and enterprise.

#8: Illinois. Things are looking up in the Windy City, where researchers, business leaders and policy-makers appear ready to cash in on the state's impressive intellectual capital.

#9: Michigan. Michigan shoulders its way into the Big 10 with some smart initiatives and cooperative partners.

#10: Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania plays nice with its neighbors to the west and southeast, with impressive results.

Small Times magazine also identified six other states to watch. They include Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington state. All have significant foundations in small tech and could challenge the leading regions.

How We Ranked the Regions

Small Times researchers ranked the states based on statistical analysis of six categories: research, industry, venture capital, innovation, work force and costs. For the final score, Small Times weighted the categories and then added them for an overall score between 100 and 1. The weightings are as follows: research - 20 percent; industry - 20 percent; venture capital - 20 percent; innovation - 20 percent; work force - 10 percent; and costs - 10 percent.

The Small Tech Market

In 2003, the U.S. earmarked more than $847 million for small tech through the National Nanotechnology Initiative, up about 9.5 percent over 2002. The National Science Foundation projected the annual market for nanotechnology products and services will reach $1 trillion by 2015. In a recent MEMS Industry Group report, In-Stat/MDR predicted that the MEMS industry will reach $8 billion by 2006.

Small Tech Perspective

Nanotechnology is the creation and use of objects through the manipulation of atoms and molecules. Currently in use as materials and coatings for metals, fibers and cosmetics, nanotechnology is expected to have pervasive uses in drug delivery, computing, communications and defense.

Microsystems are built on a scale of millionths of a meter and are often created through technologies that were used to develop silicon-based integrated circuits. Microsystems often contain sensing and mechanical capabilities on super-miniaturized chips. They are currently used to sense a car crash and deploy an air bag, to sense the presence of survivors in a disaster and to quickly evaluate medical data and respond appropriately. MEMS are microelectromechanical systems.

How the States Rank

Alabama 29 Alaska 50 Arizona 4 Arkansas 46 California 1 Colorado 12 Connecticut 14 Delaware 19 Florida 35 Geogia 24 Hawaii 49 Idaho 26 Illinois 8 Indiana 25 Iowa 30 Kansas 34 Kentucky 39 Louisiana 40 Maine 47 Maryland 6 Massachusetts 2 Michigan 9 Minnesota 22 Mississippi 45 Missouri 33 Montana 31 Nebraska 36 Nevada 48 New Hampshire 18 New Jersey 15 New Mexico 3 New York 7 North Carolina 20 North Dakota 37 Ohio 17 Oklahoma 38 Oregon 28 Pennsylvania 10 Rhode Island 13 South Carolina 42 South Dakota 43 Tennessee 32 Texas 5 Utah 21 Vermontt 23 Virginia 16 Washington 11 West Virginia 44 Wisconsin 27 Wyoming 41