What we do…

InnovationStats is provides insights into invention trends and key technologies. We also make data available for scholars, policy makers and the general public in formats that are easily accessible. We also explore the spatial distribution of inventions and how characteristics of a place influence what inventors in those places create.

An empirical challenge encountered by researchers in just about any analysis of technological change is that it is vastly easier to theorize about technology than it is to measure it. However, much of technological change is manifested in inventions—new artifacts, devices, processes, or materials. Some inventions, specifically patented inventions, leave behind a detailed evidentiary trail, and consequently patenting activity has become a widely used framework for studying the “knowledge economy.”

Research has made clear that urban settings matter for invention. Cities historically have been the places where most innovation has occurred. The privileged role that cities have played in the development of science and technology, and more broadly, in the generation of inventions and innovations (intellectual and material, cultural and political, institutional and organizational) has been well documented by historians, geographers, anthropologists and regional economists. It is a compelling inquiry to ascertain which features of urban societies foment, or hinder, invention. Patenting in the United States has been largely an urban phenomenon, from the earliest stages of the nation’s industrialization in the 19th century, and continues to be today.

This website makes data, statistics and research on granted patents and and patent appliations available for non-commercial use. Data is provided by technology categories (including a broad set of Green Technologies) and for  all metropolitan and micropolitan areas across the United States.