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Business Oregon
Nathan Buehler
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Email; 503-689-3559

April 22, 2019 Media Contact
Nathan Buehler 503-689-3559

Oregon Ranks High in Latest Innovation Analysis

Today, Business Oregon released its latest analysis of different states' success in building an innovation-based economy. The report, Oregon Innovation Index, ranks Oregon as 3rd, behind only research powerhouse states California and Massachusetts.

The Oregon Innovation Index is a research report created by Business Oregon to measure the state's innovation economy and identify opportunities to enhance competitiveness. It looks at 20 indicators of different aspects of innovation. For any state or region, innovation is key to growing productivity, which leads to economic growth, higher wages, and higher standards of living. For businesses, innovation provides competitive advantages and enables companies to seize market opportunities, grow faster, and bring in more revenue.

"In the field of economic development, we talk a lot about innovation. We want to go beyond the talk and really look at the data to analyze it and see how we're doing," said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. "Oregon exhibits very strong innovation indicators, along with the entire west coast. The analysis shows where we can leverage our strengths, as well as areas where we can do better."

Heat map showing top-ranking states of the Innovation Index. Innovation Index published April 2019, with data from 2018 and earlier.

Heat map showing top-ranking states of the Innovation Index. Innovation Index published April 2019, with data from 2018 and earlier.

The Innovation Index includes scores for all 50 states. Oregon performed best in the categories of invention, translation, and economic prosperity. In patents, Oregon continues to outperform for its size, due in large part to an established, competitive, high technology industry with robust research and development happening within it.

Oregon has made strong gains in Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) awards and is performing well in university licenses, options, and licensing income. Oregon's overall economic prosperity score has improved as well. Wages have improved in Oregon, and the gap in average wage between Oregon and the U.S. continues to shrink.

Unlike other published innovation indices, the Innovation Index looks not only at current snapshot rankings, but scores states on longer-term trends. Since Business Oregon takes a long-term interest in Oregon's innovation economy, performance in the long-term is equally important as current rankings and competitiveness.

The full index can be found on Business Oregon's website.


Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations.