The State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) commissioned the poll, using a bipartisan team of pollsters, to determine American attitudes toward investments in innovation. The national poll included 300 registered voters in Pennsylvania among a national survey of 800 voters between March 17 and 21. (As background, Gov. Tom Wolf signed his "Proclamation of Disaster Emergency" on March 6.) The results were released Thursday, May 21.
Among the findings in Pennsylvania:
Ninety-five percent support (and 47 percent voice strong support for) an initiative that promotes investments in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to advance new businesses and create jobs. The enthusiasm cut across all parties --- Democrats (96 percent), Independents (92 percent), and Republicans (95 percent) alike.
Heading into the depths of the coronavirus pandemic response, the majority (59 percent) of survey respondents believed the economy was getting worse, although most Pennsylvania voters view the investment plan as a means for improving the economy in the future. Ninety-three percent believe the innovation investment initiative can change the economy for the better.
The findings are key as innovation has proven to be vital to the state’s response to this pandemic and it will remain central to economic recovery. A link to the entire poll can be found HERE, and the Pennsylvania-specific memo is here.
“Pennsylvania voters universally understand the vital role research and innovation play in our economy today, and how important continued investments in these areas are for our state’s sustained growth in the future, especially as we look for ways to revive our economy post-pandemic,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Director of Statewide Initiatives for Ben Franklin Technology Partners, which serves all 67 counties through four regionally based centers in Pittsburgh, State College, Bethlehem, and Philadelphia:
“We need to do more to convert our leading research into new businesses that create jobs, and we need to recognize that investments in innovation are as much about enhancing quality of life as they are economic growth,” Glenn said.