ECONOMY

NH Can Speed Up R&D at Universities and Businesses

Since the "2009" economic recovery" research and development by industry has grown 5.1 percent in NH, and 17.8 percent nationally. University R&D grew 6.7 percent in NH and 16.2 percent nationwide. That's according to a 60 page report that outlines how the state can speed up innovation-led development by better coordination university research with existing businesses.

According to Jan Nisbet, senior vice provost for research at the University of New Hampshire and state director for NH EPSCor (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), which commissioned the study.

Clearly the NH results are well below the national averages.

Nisbet said she wants a statewide committee--comprising business, government, higher educational and public-sector members-- to have more discussions with groups before focusing on what specific actions to pursue.

"Our economic future hinges on this plan and what is stands for--industry,
university, government working together--and I think it does a nice job of setting the vision," according to Hypertherm executive Mike Shipulski. "This is about research and the state's economy," Shipulski said.

The reports suggested generating talented workers both by attracting and retaining people in-state and strengthening the state's innovation ecosystem, such as technology parks and incubators.

Matt Cookson, executive director at the New Hampshire High Tech Council, noted a "talent gap" with 3,000 tech job opening a month in New Hampshire.

Val Zanchuk, chairman of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, announced that the BIA and New Hampshire Charitable Foundation are collaborating on a multi-year program for a "very proactive approach" on expanding the state's workforce.