Ann Arbor named among 'most innovative' metro areas in U.S.

Midnight Madness on Main St. on Dec. 1, 2017 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The city of Ann Arbor is being recognized as one of the "most innovative" metro areas in the United States. 

Verizon conducted a study to map out areas of the country that are "breaking new ground and leading the charge in reshaping industry as the world knows it." Basically, they're tracking areas where the most U.S. patents are recently being issued to technology innovators. 

Here's what the tech company had to say about Ann Arbor, which ranked 9th on its list: 

Ann Arbor channels some of the energy of the massive automobile manufacturing hub less than an hour away and makes its own mark in the field. So it stands to reason that a good portion of patents around this area would have something to do with “Vehicles, Navigation, and Relative Location.” And it’s only natural that the runner-up class, “Drug, Bio-Affecting and Body Treating Compositions,” is in direct correlation with the city’s well-established and lucrative biotechnology and health industries. So what’s next for Ann Arbor? A continuing focus on entrepreneurship, bolstered by the University of Michigan, and growth in website development and online media and tech companies. Not too shabby.

Ann Arbor ranked right behind Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif., another college setting with data transferring and communications businesses booming. 

Factors considered for the study

Number of patents: Determined using the US Patent and Trademark Office’s most current compilation of “Patenting in Technology Classes – Breakout by Origin” according to “US Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas” from the years 2000-2015. This list consisted of about 2,000 patent grants.

Population: The population for each metro area was determined for the designated period of time with information provided by the US Census Bureau. No area’s population came to less than 88,000 residents; the highest reached over 4,000,000.  The number of patents per 10,000 residents of each metro area was then calculated and referenced to establish the top performers. Check out how each one is changing the economic landscape on a grand scale.

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