Apr 17, 2024 - News

Tampa Bay inventors are getting more patents

Change in utility patents granted per capita
Data: National Science Foundation; Note: Patents identified by location of inventors; Excludes metros with fewer than 50 patents in 2022; A bigger bubble indicates greater change; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Tampa Bay has gained more inventors in the last decade.

Why it matters: While Silicon Valley still holds the title for most patents awarded overall, the rate of change over time offers a compelling look at newly ascending β€” or lagging β€” areas.

  • Utility patents may be granted for inventing or discovering a new and useful process, machine or composition of matter, among other things.

Zoom in: 20 utility patents per 100,000 residents were granted in the Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater metro area in 2022 β€” up 6.8% from 2012, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data.

  • Most of the new patents were categorized as medical technology or digital communication.

Yes, but: The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area went down 21%, going from about 23 to 18 patents per 100,000 residents in that time.

Zoom out: Northwest Arkansas, Louisville and New Orleans are emerging as America's new innovation hotspots, as measured by the change in utility patents granted over time per 100,000 residents.

What's next: Expect other potentially surprising innovation hubs to emerge over the next few years, as money from laws like the CHIPS Act and private investment funds high-tech projects nationwide.


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