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Advanced Manufacturing & Technology


The sixth most inventive city worldwide.


Greater MSP was recently ranked as the sixth most inventive city worldwide, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Our innovation and technology industry is comprised of four key sectors: Research & Development centers, Software & IT, Advanced Manufacturing and Energy & Renewables.


Research and Development

The land of 10,000 lakes could easily be called the land of 100,000 patents. Innovations from breakthrough companies like Medtronic, 3M and Cargill as well as our leading academic institutions including a top 10 research university in the world-make the MSP region a rich market for great ideas. The University of Minnesota and Mayo spend nearly $1 Billion on research annually, which makes Minnesota one of the leading states in sponsored research. Combined with over $ 1 Billion in research done by private sector companies, it’s easy to see why the region is a leader in innovation and the leading state for medical technology research and development. Minnesota also offers a variety of resources to help your business thrive including a research and development tax credit.


Software and IT

Recently MSP was rated as one of the top locations for key IT talent by KLG advisors. More than 87,000 people are employed in Minnesota’s computer and information technology systems industry. An incredible 8.5% of all jobs in the state are in Science and Technology with the majority in IT and computer related disciplines, making the concentration of applications and software engineers 72% higher than the national average.


With all this great talent in Greater MSP, many small to medium size businesses have spawned new business initiatives including app development.


Top software and IT companies
Lawson Software FICO Digital River Inc. Analysts Int. Corp.
SoftBrand Inc. Talent Software Service Inc. Sopheon PLC MQSoftware Inc.
Thomson Reuters Microsoft Code Morphic  


Advanced Manufacturing

MSP recently ranked eighth nationwide in “Manufacturing Momentum” by Business Facilities. With over 197,000 workers and exports totaling over $14 billion, MSP is leading the advanced manufacturing sector.


The Twin Cities is highly concentrated in computer and electronic product manufacturing registering a 2.24 location quotient, exceeding the norm by 124% (location quotient of 1 is average). 


Top computer and electronic manufacturing companies
3M Alliant Techsystems Inc. Seagate Technology



Minnesota has a long history of national defense contributions: the iron ore industry in northern Minnesota, a site where B-25 bombers were modified and the first electronic autopilot that enabled a B-17aircraft to accomplish pinpoint bombing. The Department of Defense awarded 1,482 prime contracts to the state valued at $1.7 billion. Minnesota is home to more than 450 prime contractor companies.


Nationally, Minnesota ranks 15th in plastic industry employment and 8th in workforce health and safety.  Minnesota is home to many plastic manufacturers and businesses engaged in plastic processing, marketing and support activities that directly employ over 18,000 people. Plastic shipments totaled over $5 billion in 2010 and comprised nearly 1.5% of national shipments.


With our regions success in advanced manufacturing, knowledge, strong incentives, workforce quality, industry infrastructure and research capabilities, Greater MSP offers the optimal location for your advanced manufacturing business.


Energy and Renewables

Long recognized for innovation and high environmental standards, Minnesota is committed to helping clean tech companies grow. We offer a strong collaborative environment, great ecosystems and supportive public policies. In fact, we have a great base of clean technology companies, representing all components of the value chain with over 52,000 workers in renewable energy, green services and environmental conservation.


Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard requires the state’s utility to deliver at least ¼ of their power from renewable resources by 2025. Minnesota is one of the top producers of clean energy, ranking 4th nationwide in wind energy production. The wind industry in the state is estimated to have a market potential of $50 billion between now and 2020. The cities in of Minneapolis and St. Paul recently launched the “Solar in the Cities Initiative” aimed at promoting market expansion of solar technologies. Solar power is an emerging industry in Minnesota with more than 35 companies providing components and services related to this industry.


With one of the nation’s best educated workforces, a strong environmental ethic, and a landscape of farms, forests and vibrant cities, Minnesota offers clean tech companies the perfect laboratory.


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