5 most inventive states

These states are innovating up a storm, generating the most independent inventor patents per capita, according to research from the Kauffman Foundation.

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1. Utah
Utah
Patents per million people: 22.1

Utah is the hands-down leader in inventiveness, generating nearly one-and-a-half times the patents per capita created by the next state on this list. Low taxes and light regulation make it "business-friendly," and the state encourages innovation, said Michael O'Malley, communications director of Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, an economic development group.

Its USTAR Technology Commercialization Grant program, for example, promotes cooperation between entrepreneurs and faculty at research universities in the state. To date, USTAR has provided grants to 76 projects, which have helped spark 27 new patents and applications.

Inventors in the state are particularly busy in the biomedical, information technology, energy (conventional and alternative), and homeland security industries, said O'Malley.

By Catherine Clifford, staff reporter

NEXT: Oregon
Source: Kauffman Foundation based on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2008 and 2009 data
Kauffman looked at independent inventor patents per million people of workforce age, 18-64
LAST UPDATE: Dec 23 2010 | 10:29 AM ET
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