WTC releases first statewide technology index report

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2000

Washington leads nation in creation of new high-tech industries

Seattle – Washington state leads the nation in the creation rate of new companies and ranks sixth in the growth of technology employment by startup firms.

According to WTC’s Index of Innovation and Technology for Washington State, Washington’s rate of new company creation is more than 20 percent higher than California, the state next most effective. Washington’s rate is more than double the median rate for all states. Other highlights from the report include:

— Washington has 12 technology-based sections that are above the national average in industry dominance.

— The aircraft industry still employs the majority of technology workers, but that percentage has decreased from 59% of total technology employment to 39 percent. Software increased to 23%.

— Patents issued to companies and individuals in Washington State increased 166 percent from 1994-1998.

— Venture capital investment in the Pacific Northwest is highest in software and telecommunications.

“The data emphasize the need to support small technology companies since they have been the engine for growth and diversification in Washington’s high-tech industries,” says Lee Cheatham, Ph.D., WTC executive director and co-author of the report. “The state has a role to play through direct investment in technology and education and by creating an environment that helps attract outside investment.”

Martha Choe, Director of Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, agrees, “Understanding the impact technology has on Washington’s economy is central to CTED’s plan to foster economic growth statewide. WTC’s work on this report, and in its core mission of helping Washington companies develop technology, helps take us to the next level in that effort.”

The report provides comparative data from over 30 different sources, and establishes a benchmark for assessing Washington’s progress in growing a technology-based economy. It is co-authored by Dr. Paul Sommers, Senior Research Fellow with the UW Northwest Policy Center and a member of Governor Locke’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Related WTC links:

  • 2000 Index of Innovation and Technology for Washington State

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