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Indiana recognized as tech-friendly 'innovation champion' for first time

Indiana recognized as tech-friendly 'innovation champion' for first time

Indiana recognized as 'innovation champion'

The Indiana Obelisk by artist Robert Indiana at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

For the first time, Indiana has been recognized as one of the country's most tech industry-friendly state by the Consumer Technology Association.

The Arlington, Virginia-based trade association named Indiana and 14 other states "innovation champions" on its annual U.S. Innovation Scorecard. Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska also were recognized for fostering innovation, such as by educating scientists and engineers and having low taxes.

“This list proves that American innovation is not confined to the coasts. We’re proud to recognize those states doing the most to unleash innovation and fulfill the potential of technology — creating jobs, powering our economy and delivering life-changing benefits,” Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro said. “Our scorecard emphasizes forward-thinking policies proven to help today’s innovators create a better future. That’s why, this year, we began measuring how well states enable 5G connectivity — the platform for emerging technologies from smart cities to digital health — and what they’re doing develop the workforce of the future.”

North America’s largest technology trade association graded all 50 states on categories such as STEM education, internet speed, and "disruptive technologies including self-driving vehicles, drones and e-scooters."

The study found the percentage of residents with advanced degrees has been growing in 48 states and was steady in the other two. Massachusetts and California have the most tech jobs by far, but Indiana has been gaining ground from a smaller base.

Indiana spends $888.99 on research and development and $34.67 on venture capital per capita, the study found. An estimated 47% of households in the Hoosier state have high-speed fixed broadband, and 9.2% of its residents have earned an advanced degree.

Indiana has 33 tech jobs per 1,000 people, and its small businesses create about 289 jobs per 1,000 people.

"Indiana has most tech job growth among small firms," the Consumer Technology Association said in a press release. "Indiana was the only 2020 Innovation Champion, and one of only three states overall, to see an increase in the number of jobs created by firms with fewer than 50 employees over a five-year period."

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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