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California Ranks In Top 10 For Research, Development
CA outline

With the U.S. projected to spent nearly $600 billion on Research & Development (R&D) in 2022, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2022’s Most & Least Innovative States, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to give credit to the states that have contributed the most to America’s innovative success, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 22 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of STEM professionals to R&D spending per capita.

For the full report, visit:


Innovation in California (1=Most Innovative, 25=Avg.):

7th – Share of STEM Professionals

10th – Projected STEM-Job Demand by 2028

4th – Share of Science & Engineering Graduates Aged 25+

7th – Share of Technology Companies

4th – R&D Spending per Capita

1st – Venture-Capital Funding per Capita


Expert Commentary

How can state policymakers encourage and facilitate innovation?

“Innovation tends to have significantly positive geographical spillovers (meaning firms, institutions, or individuals at close locations benefit from frequent collaborations, sharing of ideas, etc.). So fostering/encouraging some kind of innovation hub (if none or few exist in the state) whereby such positive benefits of co-location can happen would be a good start. I also think that the presence of maker spaces or coding spaces where young kids can play and tinker with building products/software codes is useful to encourage innovation from a young age.”

Tian Heong Chan – Assistant Professor, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School


Have investments in innovation slowed during the pandemic? If so, why is that?

“Recent reports show that US companies raised nearly $330 billion from venture capitalists in 2021, which is nearly double the previous record in 2020 … So if anything, it seems that investments have only increased during the pandemic. If you look back in history, this is not actually that surprising: wartime crises spurred innovation during the Civil War and WWII, an energy crisis spurred innovation in the refrigeration industry in the 19th century, and the climate crisis is spurring radical innovations across numerous industries today. I believe this is likely the case because every crisis brings new consumer demands to light, which presents new opportunities to solve problems and build new businesses. Similarly, the pandemic has introduced countless new problems that need to be solved, and it has fundamentally transformed the way many businesses and industries operate. Therefore, numerous opportunities have arisen to invest in innovation.”

Johnathan R. Cromwell – Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco


What skills best equip individuals to be competitive in a changing economic landscape?

“The best skills of the future will need to have a combination of in-demand technical skills (skills that pertains to a specific job such as accounting, nursing, or computer programming) and soft skills competencies. The future will need individuals who can use their technical skills by applying their soft skills such as collaboration, creativity, teamwork, leadership, human connection, and problem-solving. With the increased presence of robots and artificial intelligence in our daily activities, we need to create a landscape that shows our humanity above technology. This landscape needs well-educated individuals equipped with both technical and soft skill competencies to compete in the global economy.”

Haleh Karimi, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Bellarmine University