The Nature of Innovation

There are many qualities that distinguish economies that are supportive of business and manufacturing innovations.  Some examples include having high numbers of scientists and engineers, low barriers to entry for new firms, flexible business organization structures, easy access to government and corporate R&D, good access to foreign markets, and high numbers of new public offerings.  In general, firms within these economies are able to readily integrate and adapt new and evolving ideas into products and services.  

Among its many innovation strengths, California has historically been the source of important new discoveries.  As an example, California ranks 1stamong 50 states for patents issued in 2013 when 30,750 total patents were granted. Other top performing states include Texas (9,222), New York (8,489), Massachusetts (6,409), and Washington (5,878).  Even internationally, California's R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP ranked the state highest among key innovation nations in 2013, including Japan, U.S., South Korea, Germany, France, Singapore, Canada, U.K., China, and India.

California's leadership position, however, is consistently being challenged by other states and nations.  A 2011 report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, found that from 2007 to 2010 California fell from 4thin the country to 9thin terms of economic dynamism, and ranked 45thin its ability to attract skilled legal immigrants, and 22ndin its ability to attract skilled U.S. workers.

The 2014 index by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, however, reported that California had moved up in the ranking overall from 7th to 3rd place between 2010 to 2014.   In the post-recession economy, California has an opportunity to continue to address areas of weakness and leverage areas of historic comparative advantage. 

Additional Information on Innovation and the California Economy

Time Structures prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the August 7, 2012 hearing.  The slide presentation includes charts and graphs that clearly display key economic development information on international trade, workforce preparation, global competitiveness and eCommerce, among other innovation related topics. 

This link connects to a "Key Concepts" webpage where you will find a variety of short briefings on key innovation topics including K-12 education, research universities, immigration, infrastructure, R&D, and federal policies.

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