January 21, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights Arkansas’s Innovative Contributions

U.S. Chamber Releases Study on Importance of Intellectual Property in All 50 States


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Arkansas’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.

Innovation and creativity are vital to Arkansas’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. From 2000 to 2005, Arkansas ranked 1st in the country in the percentage increase of venture capital investments and 8th for hi-tech job growth. Additionally, Arkansas innovators received 169 patents in 2007 alone. And the software industry in Arkansas contributes to nearly $14 million in wages.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Arkansas. The Natural State’s Information Sector employs more than 24,000 workers, and employs 8,500 in telecommunications. The software industry contributes approximately $14 million in wages to the Arkansas economy.

Indeed, Arkansans are proven innovators,” said Esper. Forrest Wood, a native of Flippin, acquired eighteen U.S. patents, including one for his design and manufacturing of the Ranger Boat. Wood’s innovation became known as America’s number one bass boat, and was named the official Bassmaster Classic boat until 2000. “America has a unique story to tell, and Arkansas plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Arkansas’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Arkansas 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 www.theglobalipcenter.com, 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, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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