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Northeast Patent Producers rank in US Top 20 Survey

Robust patent activity is regarded as an economic boon for any metro area -  a survey of national patent activity shows three Northeastern metro areas have been identified as places in the country most likely to be "inventive" - The survey entitled “Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas”  tracks U.S. patent activity from 1980-to-2012: the Brookings Institution finds that some of the most inventive metropolitan areas in the nation include Burlington, Vermont, New York's "North Country" and the cities of Albany and Poughkeepsie.
Jonathan Rothwell is lead author of the 49 page report - he says the patenting rate is nearing historic heights.  Nationally, the two most active regions for patenting activity are Silicon Valley and the Boston to Washington corridor.

Burlington, with an IBM chip plant and the University of Vermont on its turf, ranks near the top of the list, coming in second behind San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, followed by Rochester, Minnesota, Corvallis, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado. At number 6, the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown area, which is home to an IBM computer chip factory, and a bit lower at #18, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, which Rothewell notes is home to GE's global research headquarters and the Nano-College.

Report co-author Deborah Strumsky explains why it matters that one place might generate more patents than another. Strumsky notes that the "patent jewel" in New York State’s crown is Rochester, which is home to 4.1% of the state population but 13% of the patenting output.

Jonathan Rothwell adds patents serve as economic indicators. The takeaway: of about 370 metropolitan statistical areas in the United States - 20 of them — where 34 percent of the US population lives — generate 63 percent of the nation’s patents.

Top 20 Metro Areas for Patent Activity (per capita):

   1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
   2. Burlington-South Burlington, VT
   3. Rochester, MN
   4. Corvallis, OR
   5. Boulder, CO
   6. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY
   7. Ann Arbor, MI
   8. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
   9. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
  10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
  11. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  12. Raleigh-Cary, NC
  13. Rochester, NY
  14. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
  15. Trenton-Ewing, NJ
  16. Sheboygan, WI
  17. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
  18. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
  19. Ithaca, NY
  20. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wisc.

(Data supplied by Brookings Institution)

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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