September 16, 2009

Alaska Among Nation’s Leaders in Driving Innovation Economy

WASHINGTON, DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Alaska’s contributions to America’s innovation economy. This study is part of GIPC’s State Fact Sheets, which provide a look at the roles innovation and creativity play in each state. The report highlights local companies and facts demonstrating how innovation and creativity–which are safeguarded by strong IP rights–serve as a driving force behind economic recovery and future growth.

“Alaska is a leader in America’s innovative economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. “The Alaska economy depends on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism,” added Esper. In 2004 and 2005, Alaska’s high tech employment jobs grew approximately 50% faster than the overall U.S. rate. In fact, from 2000 to 2005, Alaska was ranked seventh in high tech job growth by the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Alaska. The Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks is an industry-based, nonprofit corporation created solely to facilitate research, development, use and testing of energy-efficient and cost-effective building technologies for Alaska and the world’s cold climate regions. In 2007, the top ten Alaskan recipients of Federal Research and Development contracts received more than $76 million combined.

“Indeed, Alaskans are proven innovators,” said Esper. “The clean power generation created by Wave Mill and the laser lighting system are just a few examples of great ideas that originated in the state. America has a unique story to tell, and Alaska plays a large role in this story.”

The Alaska State Fact Sheet is intended to be a resource for legislators, policymakers, and the public to identify successful companies, inventors, creative artists, and innovators to better understand the role they play in our economy and society. As part of an easy-to-use, interactive map, the State Fact Sheet project can be accessed online at, as well as in a printable format.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, contact Trinh Nguyen at (202) 463-5379.

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