6. Idaho
most inventive states idaho
Tech company Micron Technology is a key driver of patents in Idaho.
Patents per thousand residents: 2.77

Robust technology, semiconductor and bioagriculture industries drive Idaho's patent activity.

The state is home to tech giant Micron Technology (MU, Fortune 500) and the Idaho National Laboratory, which is a research and engineering facility owned by the Department of Energy.

"Lately we're seeing clusters of new tech startups that have branched out of the National Lab and the big tech companies here," said Clark Krause, executive director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership.

The Boise region, which hosts a large Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) plant, is among the top 20 U.S. metro regions for most patents.


Source: Patents per thousands residents, based on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data as published in the 2012 State Entrepreneurship Index from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated October 26 2012 02:37 PM ET
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