Massachusetts again tops Milken Institute rankings of high-tech states

Massachusetts once again achieved the top spot on an index that seeks to rank states by their technology and science capabilities --- only this time, the Bay State widened its lead over its closest rival.

The State Technology and Science and Technology Index is compiled the Milken Institute, a California think tank that evaluates such factors as research and development, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and the skill of a local work force. In drawing up its rankings, the institute tries to measure a state’s success at converting those assets into businesses and high-paying jobs.

Susan Windham-Bannister. File photo. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

Over the last decade, the institute has issued its index every two years. Massachusetts has always topped the index, and this time, it achieved its highest score ever.

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‘‘By widening the gap between it and others, the Bay State has further cemented its lead in science and technology,’’ Kevin Klowden, institute senior economist and co-author of the report, said in a statement. ‘‘With a critical mass of universities, research institutions, and cutting-edge firms, it is the indomitable state.’’

Maryland ranked second on the latest index, the same rank it held on the previous index. Third was California; it ranked fourth the last time. Connecticut held steady at the ninth spot. And New Hampshire slipped to number 10; it was seventh in the previous survey.

Susan Windham-Bannister, president and chief executive of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, commented on the Bay State’s top ranking in a statement.

“On the heels of a report released just two weeks ago by economists Barry Bluestone and Alan Clayton-Matthews finding that Massachusetts is the number one state in life sciences job growth, this report confirms that we have pulled away from the competition and are the clear leader in science and technology,” Windham-Bannister said. “We’re successfully implementing a new model of economic development in Massachusetts, but we must continue to invest aggressively in education, innovation and infrastructure, three key pillars of that model.”