(This story appeared in the USA Today newspaper on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. It was written by John Harrington and Michael B. Sauter)
As America’s economy continues to shift from heavy industry to technology, certain areas of the country have gained a reputation for innovation.
Many factors contribute to differences in innovation activity in U.S. cities, including the presence of research institutions, efforts by local government and chambers of commerce, access to venture capital, and the ability of leadership to read the tea leaves of the future.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the 25 most innovative cities in the United States based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the year 2015, the most recent year that data is available. 24/7 Wall St. listed the metropolitan areas with the highest number of patents issued per 100,000 city residents.
Many of the metropolitan areas on this list are home to major research institutions, as well as some of the nation’s largest companies in STEM fields, both of which tend to be the primary producers of patented technology.
Ithaca was ranked at #13.
• Patents granted in 2015 per 100,000 residents: 133.4
• Patents granted in 2015: 1,638
• Population: 104,926
• Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 52.2 percent
Ithaca, with a population of about 104,000, is the third smallest city on our list. It is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. Cornell has created the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement that supports economic progress through innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of that mission, the initiative has backed programs such as Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and the Southern Tier Startup Alliance. Ithaca College hosts an annual educational technology day that draws national and local vendors. Included among the vendors at the most recent event was specialty glass and ceramics company Corning Inc., whose headquarters is 35 miles southwest of Ithaca.
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