November 12, 2009

U.S. Chamber Study Recognizes Minnesota’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Minnesota’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 Minnesota’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. In 2007 alone, the Gopher State’s innovators received 2,920 patents, ranking Minnesota top five in the nation for patents per capita. Prior to that year, between 2002 and 2006, innovators in Minnesota received the second most patents in the US.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Minnesota. Minnesota has a total wind energy capacity of 1,300 Megawatts, making it the third largest innovative wind producer in the United States. In addition, over $492 million in wages go to Minnesotans employed by the software industry alone. In 2008, over 11,000 businesses in Minnesota were involved with creating and distributing copyrighted works, marking a near ten percent increase from 2007.

“Indeed, Minnesotans are proven innovators,” added Esper. “From Scotch tape and Wheaties to the first heart bypass machine, Minnesotans have invented memorable brands and life saving designs. America has a unique story to tell, and Minnesota plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Minnesota’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.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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