November 10, 2009

U.S. Chamber Recognizes Montana’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Montana’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 Montana’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Montana’s growing technology industry is comprised of over 1,300 companies and employs more than 10,000 Montanans. In addition, films shot in Montana have had an economic impact of over $81 million over the past several years, generating nearly 1,000 full-time jobs. The number of businesses in Montana involved with copyright, including theatres, museums, and studios, grew nearly ten percent in 2008.

Esper noted examples of Montana’s commitment to innovation and creativity. Montana State University contributes to the state’s creative economy, having reported a record $97 million in research expenditures in 2008. The university alone has generated 90 patents and works with 158 active technology licenses, including those responsible for vaccine development.

“Indeed, Montanans are proven innovators,” added Esper. “Maurice Hilleman was a native Montanan who discovered 8 of the 14 vaccines regularly recommended today. MSU encourages a statewide commitment to continuing along his path of technological discovery. America has a unique story to tell, and Montana plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Montana’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Montana 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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