UNM Rainforest Innovations

A new book recently published by two MIT professors argues that investing federal dollars geographically to create technology hubs in cities across the U.S. that lose out to the few east-coast/west-coast super cities for most private and public investments in basic science and invention commercialization, will dramatically result in widespread innovation that boosts economic growth and good-paying jobs.

In Jump-Starting America, How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream, authors Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson have identified 102 urban communities that are promising candidates for next generation tech hubs.  All have large populations, highly educated workforces, and a low cost of living and span 36 states across all regions of the country.  Albuquerque placed 62nd among those chosen.

The authors analyzed data on 382 metropolitan statistical areas and summarized eight components that measure the strengths and weaknesses of particular locations to demonstrate that there is already “enormous opportunity” in many American cities.  The measured components were

  • Population age (25-64);
  • College share of population, age 25+, with a college or postgraduate degree;
  • Top 20 graduate science departments;
  • Number of undergraduates going to top 20 programs and graduating from top 20 PhD


  • Patents per worker – number of patents per employee;
  • Average house price;
  • Crime rate – violent crimes per 10,000 persons; and
  • Commuting time – number of commuters who travel less than 30 minutes to work.

To view the ranking list and find out more about the authors’ policy recommendations, visit their website at https://www.jump-startingamerica.com/.

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