September 8, 2009

Chamber Study Highlights Wisconsin’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Wisconsin’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 is vital to Wisconsin’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. “Wisconsin’s innovative economy employs over 80,000 high-tech workers and approximately 10,000 doctoral scientists and engineers. In 2007, businesses and universities invested more than $3.5 billion in research and development in Wisconsin, resulting in almost 2,000 patents.” Esper also noted that film and television production contributed to over $231 million in local wages in 2007 and 2008. “Clearly the Wisconsin economy depends on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism,” added Esper.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Wisconsin. In 2007 alone, Snap-On Incorporated generated nearly $3 billion in revenue and held more than 2,400 active and pending patents in the United States and worldwide. In that same year, industry research leader and Fortune 100 company, Johnson Controls, reported $168 million in net patented technology assets achieved through extensive research and innovation.

“Indeed, Wisconsinites are proven innovators,” said Esper. “The first hydroelectric power plant began operation in Wisconsin in addition to the invention of the first telephone answering machine and automatic clothes drier. America has a unique story to tell, and Wisconsin plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Wisconsin’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Wisconsin 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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