Commerce Under Secretary Highlights Nevada's Innovation and Competitiveness

Nevada Doubles Patents and Leads Nation with Most Business Start-ups
Press Release

Brigid Quinn or Ruth Nyblod

Las Vegas, Nev. - Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas today highlighted Nevada's innovation and competitiveness as a follow-up to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address announcing the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI).

"Nevada is growing in terms of its intellectual property, skilled work force and economic strength," Under Secretary Dudas said. "In short, Nevada is helping America continue to lead the national and world economies."

In highlighting the president's American Competitiveness Initiative during remarks to local government officials, inventors, business representatives and educators, Dudas lauded the area's impressive examples of innovation, noting that such regional development is "key to our nation's economic future."

In the past 10 years, the number of patents awarded to residents of Nevada has more than doubled, from 212 patents in 1994 to 461 in fiscal year 2005. Nevada also ranked first in the nation in having the most business start-ups, according to the most recent State New Economy Index.

An essential component of any regional economy is a thriving university. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a premier research university. UNLV, known for its growing technology transfer program, is building a $75 million science, engineering and technology complex scheduled to open next year, which will integrate teaching and research space. The university's leading-edge work and partnerships with industry provide an all-around winning equation for the university and for the American economy.

Nevada's independent inventors and small businesses, such as a company that makes batteries used for hybrid electric vehicles, exemplify American ingenuity. And to stimulate the next generation of American inventors, Nevada has Camp Invention, a summer educational outreach program for children, sponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Camp Invention runs 15 weeklong camps throughout Nevada designed to encourage the creative process that leads to problem solving, discovery and invention.

"The president's American Competitiveness Initiative will encourage innovation through new federal funding for research, tax certainty for research and development, and strengthening education in math and science," Dudas said. "ACI will reinforce what Nevada is already doing."