Innovating the Beehive State

SL Chamber LogoThe Consumer Technology Association recently released their 2016 Innovation Scorecard and Utah is one of twelve states listed as an “Innovative Champion.”

The CTA’s annual report card accounts for ten factors: a strong right to work state, welcoming business models, tax friendliness, entrepreneurial activity, fast internet, tech workforce, attracts investment, grants STEM degrees, innovation-friendly sustainable policies and supports drones.

Among Utah’s strengths: internet and its innovation-friendly sustainable policies.

The report attributes some of Utah’s success to its low taxes and the support of its strong universities. Utah received nothing lower than B in each section and considered “one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country.”

The report also recognizes that Utah is producing a lot more than just snow. It’s producing numerous “unicorns” or tech startups valued at over a $1 billion, and this is drawing the attention of the Silicon Valley community.

None of this is surprising. Utah is a repeat Innovative Champion. This success is attributed to the state’s awareness that innovation encompasses more than just Silicon Slopes—it means innovative policies.

What the Innovation Scorecard may have overlooked was some of Utah’s most recent successes in innovation. During the 2016 general session, Utah become one of only eight states in the nation to address autonomous vehicles with H.B. 280 Autonomous Vehicle Study, and passed legislation on unmanned aircraft systems regulation with H.B. 126 Unmanned Aircraft Revisions. These pieces of legislation are only two examples of Utah’s continual devotion to innovation and makes clear why, once again, the state is an Innovative Champion.

Keep the innovation dialogue going and join the Salt Lake Chamber for a discussion on “Changing Utah’s Infrastructure Game with ITS Solutions” with Blaine D. Leonard, Utah Department of Transportation ITS Program Manager and Mark Pitmann, Founder and CEO of Blyncsyon Wednesday May, 18th at 2:00-3:30 at the Chamber.

See details of the CTA score card: here