Manufacturers Urge California to Protect Innovation

NAM Releases Analysis on Economic Impact of Innovation in the State

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2016 – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released an analysis exploring the economic impact of innovation in California. Manufacturers are in the middle of an innovation revolution, which is driving job growth and expanding market leadership at an unprecedented pace. With legislation pending in the state that could potentially disrupt these gains, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray analyzed the economic impact of innovation in California.

“In the new digital age, proprietary intellectual property that drives innovation is an essential ingredient for manufacturers producing lifesaving and life-changing products,” said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling. “To compete and create jobs in the United States, our industry must fight to protect these key assets as they are critical to our global competitiveness. Unfortunately, a new front has erupted threatening this growth. In the president’s budget, in some congressional deliberations, on campaign trails and in state legislatures, manufacturers are being targeted by our own elected leaders with unprecedented demands to reveal their most vital secrets to the entire world.

Our manufacturers perform more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the United States, and they receive more patents than any other industry. These are just two reasons manufacturing companies make up our nation’s economic backbone, contributing more than $2 trillion to the American economy annually and directly employing more than 12 million workers.”

The analysis found the following:

  • In California, total output from manufacturing was $255.53 billion in 2014, and the manufacturing sector employs 1,271,000.
  • In California, the manufacturing industry spent $81.7 billion on R&D in 2012—ranking it first nationally.
  • For the United States as a whole, the industry spent $292.7 billion in 2012, with California accounting for 27.9 percent of industry R&D in the country.
  • Manufacturers of all sizes depend on patents to spur investment and foster innovation. There were 43,679 patents issued in California in 2014.
  • Of those patents, 40,661 were utility patents or “patents for invention”—issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof.

To view the innovation analysis, click here.

To learn more about manufacturers and innovation, visit our website.


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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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