May 5, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights North Dakota’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 North Dakota’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 North Dakota’s economy,” said Dr. Mark T. Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. North Dakota receives nearly $58 million dollars in federal funds for research and development every year. Approximately 1,100 North Dakota businesses contributed to the creation and distribution of certain copyrighted works in 2008, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in North Dakota. In 2005, North Dakota employed more than 10,000 high-tech workers, who earned an average wage of $47,595. Additionally, the software industry in North Dakota employs approximately 1,100 people, who earn $85 million in wages.

“Indeed, North Dakotans are proven innovators,” said Esper. In 1943, a Morton County native, Leon Jacobson pioneered the treatment of lymphoma and leukemia with chemical nitrogen mustard. Jacobson’s experiment later became an effective treatment for cancer known as chemotherapy. “America has a unique story to tell, and North Dakota plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and North Dakota’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The North Dakota 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.

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