Preliminary data shows that New York City’s business innovation grew by 14% in the past eight years.

High-tech business development and entrepreneurial activity increased by 12% from 2003 and 2009, according to a new “innovation index” administered by the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Preliminary data shows that the growth will reach 14% for 2010.

The new index will analyze spending on research and development, finance, and the amount of workforce and students in the field with intellectual property outgrowth, high-tech production levels, and entrepreneurial growth to track how the sector is developing in the city.

“Innovation is a tough thing to measure, but when taken together through the innovation index, factors like job growth, research and development funding, and venture capital provide a gauge of the city’s success in generating new ideas, new companies and new jobs,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

“Accelerating the trend of innovation in New York is critical to the city’s economic growth and diversification, particularly given the challenges of competing in the global economy.”

The industry’s contribution towards the gross city product increased by 25% between 2003 and 2009. Colleges and universities allocated $1.8 billion towards research and development programs in 2009.

That spending has increased by 13% since 2003 and accounts for 3.5% of all academic research and development investment in the country, according to the Bloomberg administration.

In 2009, 179,000 people worked in science and engineering jobs in the city, with the total number of workers in those areas increasing by 9% from 2003 through 2009. The number of patents awarded to New York City inventors also increased by 23% since 2003.

The administration is working on developing a new applied science and engineering research campus. Officials will release a request for proposals this summer to 18 different academic institutions for the design and financing of the project. The city last month received 18 expressions of interest from colleges and universities located in New York City, the U.S., and several different countries.

Officials plan to make a significant capital contribution to the development, which may be constructed on city-owned land.

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