September 1, 2009

U.S. Chamber Study Highlights Colorado’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Colorado’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.

“Colorado is a leader in America’s innovative and creative economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. “Colorado has fostered an environment conducive to innovation and creativity, and the state’s economy has benefitted as a result. The Colorado economy depends on this spirit of entrepreneurism.” According to GIPC’s study, in 2008, the number of businesses that were involved with copyrighted works grew to 13,800 – an increase of over 8% from the previous year. Colorado boasts the second largest aerospace industry in the nation, employing over 350,000 people, and ranks third nationally in technology and science assets.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Colorado. Innovators in Fort Collins generate four times the number of patents than the average U.S. city, and wind turbine pioneer Vestas Wind Systems expects to employ 2,450 Coloradans after the completion of a new factory and two new manufacturing plants. The developer of the innovative CrocsTM footwear, Crocs, Inc. generated over $800 million in revenue and created more than 600 jobs, and Water Pik, an innovative personal and oral health care manufacturer, contributed an additional $300 million in annual net sales to the local economy. Also, the first antibody labeling agent used to identify and diagnose diseases originated in Colorado.

“America has a unique story to tell, and Colorado plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Colorado’s IP contributions reflect this,” said Esper.

The Colorado 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.

Subscribe for updates from GIPC