The 'Knowledge Economy' sector - including science and technology companies - represented 4.6% of total employment here last year, compared to 6.1% in all other UK regions, according to a new report.
A survey for the Northern Ireland Science Park's CONNECT project by Oxford Economics, was launched at Stormont on Thursday and follows an inaugural baseline report in 2011.
Supporters of the knowledge economy say that if the Northern Ireland economy is to reach its full growth potential, the Government needs to commit £25m a year, every year for 20 years, to a programme of risk capital intervention.
This in turn would create an additional £5bn for the economy here, it is claimed.
The report was presented by Miriam Ferrari, senior economist at Oxford Economics, an independent body which compiled it after winning a competitive tender.
Statistics showed that the knowledge economy sector represented 4.6% of total employment here, compared to 6.1% in all other UK regions, while a knowledge economy worker earns, on average, 42% more than the mean wage and is 48% more productive.
Another finding identified the level of patent activity in 2012 as comparatively low compared to the rest of the UK, as was the level of investment activity - despite a historical high of £20m in venture capital in 2011.
For full report, see Tuesday's Business Telegraph.