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Which US states rank as innovation champions?

The Consumer Technology Association ranks the states on how supportive their policies are and the latest list shows innovation is not confined to the coastal tech hubs.

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The 15 states listed have done most to unleash innovation and fulfil the potential of technology
The 15 states listed have done most to unleash innovation and fulfil the potential of technology

Nearly one third of US states (15) have been named as “innovation champions” in the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) 2020 US Innovation Scorecard.

 

The biennial scorecard, which ranks all 50 states on how well their policies support innovation, named Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia and Washington as repeat champions from the 2018 Scorecard.

 

A further five states – Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska – joined this year’s innovation champion ranks, demonstrating that innovation is thriving outside traditional coastal tech hubs, according to CTA.

 

5G deployment

 

For the first time, the Scorecard’s 12 grading criteria include states’ efforts around workforce development and 5G deployment.

 

These 15 states have done the most to foster innovation including educating their populations in critical scientific and engineering fields, maintaining friendly tax policies and giving innovators freedom from burdensome rules.

 

"This year, we began measuring how well states enable 5G connectivity – the platform for emerging technologies from smart cities to digital health."

 

“This list proves that American innovation is not confined to the coasts. We’re proud to recognise those states doing the most to unleash innovation and fulfil the potential of technology – creating jobs, powering our economy and delivering life-changing benefits,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.

 

“Our scorecard emphasises forward-thinking policies proven to help today’s innovators create a better future. That’s why, this year, we began measuring how well states enable 5G connectivity – the platform for emerging technologies from smart cities to digital health – and what they’re doing to develop the workforce of the future.”

 

Among Innovation Scorecard’s other findings were:

  • states are giving out more advanced degrees: since the 2018 US Scorecard, the percentage of residents over the age 25 who hold advanced degrees has increased in 48 states and held steady in the remaining two
  • Indiana has most tech job growth among small firms: Indiana was the only 2020 Innovation Champion, and one of only three states overall, to see an increase in the number of jobs created by firms with fewer than 50 employees over a five-year period
  • Iowa was one of the only states to earn top marks in the best and brightest category: the state passed legislation that protects workers from discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity
  • per-capita venture capital investment in Kansas-based companies nearly doubled: since the 2018 US Innovation Scorecard, per capita venture capital investment increased statewide by almost two-thirds, from $13.58 to $21.98
  • Massachusetts ranked first overall for tech jobs per capita: the commonwealth edged out second-place California with nearly 56 tech jobs per 1,000 residents.

“Our scorecard emphasises forward-thinking policies proven to help today’s innovators create a better future.”

 

CTA evaluated all 50 states to determine which are doing the most to foster innovation. States are graded on 12 quantitative and qualitative categories including internet speed and cost, STEM education and support for disruptive technologies including self-driving vehicles, drones and e-scooters.

 

The states are then ranked in one of four ascending tiers: modest innovators; innovation adopters; innovation leaders; and the highest level, innovation champions

 

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