Friday, November 16, 2007

Ohio and innovation

The Kauffman Foundation, a think tank associated with the Duke University School of Engineering, has issued an interesting report on intellectual property creation in the United States. It compares patent generation by State, by company, and by university. For the most part, Ohio is high-average on the lists by State.

In 2006, Ohio generated 26.7 patent applications per 100,000 workers, slightly higher than the national average of 25.1, which resulted in a ranking of 18th among the 50 states. In 1998, the comparable figures were 20.5 and 13th. For total patent applications from industry, Ohio ranks 9th, with approximately 1,200 applications in 2006, compared with approximately 1,000 applications in 1998.

For patent application originating from universities, Ohio ranks 10th, with approximately 1,200 applications in 2006, compared with about 500 in 1998. (Figures are approximate, because they were read from bar graphs).

From this report, we can see that Ohio’s recent emphasis on university research is beginning to pay off; but we are starting to fall behind the curve in corporate research.

Independent or not, Ohio’s economic future depends on innovation in many areas, including automotive technology, information technology, polymers, clean fuels, and alternative energy sources. But I suggest that independence will give us the focus we need to aggressively press for the research and technology we need to thrive in the 21st century.

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