Detroit Struts Its Tech Stuff

Last week, Automation Alley published their Annual 2012 Technology Industry Report, analyzing and ranking 14 innovation hubs across the U.S.  Using the most current data available, they measured employment by industry and employment by occupation.  Also, they evaluated data on post-secondary educational attainment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and patents issued.  Together, these data points paint a complete picture of the region’s technology sector and thriving innovation ecosystem.

Here are some data points from the report:

  • Based on this data, metro Detroit had the highest concentration of tech jobs among the Midwest regions, followed by Minneapolis.
  • Metro Detroit had 210,984 residents who worked for businesses in the technology industry in 2010, making it a leader in overall technology employment.  Of the 14 other regional economies analyzed in the Report, only four had more tech industry jobs (Chicago, Dallas, Boston and San Jose).

Patents are another metric the report analyzed.  Patents are a clear indicator of innovation and an integral component to any successful and thriving startup economy — particularly within the technology sector.

  • In July 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional office in Detroit.  The high volume of patents in Detroit was attributed to the large number of STEM-related workers, research and higher education institutions.

  • Looking at the STEM fields of study, the Detroit region had the largest number of engineering and engineering technologies degrees among the geographies in the report, with 4,248 completions in the 2008-2009 school year.
  • Within the Midwest, Chicago had the largest number of completions in biological, biomedical and physical sciences.

Data source: Automation Alley’s 2012 Technology Industry Report