Utah is the hands-down leader in inventiveness, generating nearly one-and-a-half times the patents per capita created by the next state on this list. Low taxes and light regulation make it "business-friendly," and the state encourages innovation, said Michael O'Malley, communications director of Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, an economic development group.
Its USTAR Technology Commercialization Grant program, for example, promotes cooperation between entrepreneurs and faculty at research universities in the state. To date, USTAR has provided grants to 76 projects, which have helped spark 27 new patents and applications.
Inventors in the state are particularly busy in the biomedical, information technology, energy (conventional and alternative), and homeland security industries, said O'Malley.