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
Join the Conversation
9 hot businesses you can start now

In a lousy economy, startup ideas can be found in surprising places. We asked Thumbtack.com which opportunities are drawing the most interest from entrepreneurs and their customers.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.