News Release — Vermont Dept. of Economic Development
Oct. 7, 2013
MONTPELIER – Automatic milk-shake machines. Solar-powered street lamps. Bullet-proof eyewear. Life-sized animated dinosaurs. This October, Vermont highlights these and other products in a first-time celebration of “50 Innovations Made In Vermont.”
The innovations range from well-known consumer products such as Burton’s snowboards, Green Mountain Coffee’s K-Cups and Cabot’s award-winning cheeses to technical breakthroughs like Ultramotive eco-safe aerosol cans, Sound Innovation’s noise-cancelling earplugs, and Applied Research Associates robots are used to clear land mines around the world. The full list of “50 Innovations Made in Vermont” is available at ThinkVermont.com.
“Vermont is home to many great manufacturing businesses, many of which are world leaders in their fields,” noted Governor Shumlin in a proclamation which named Friday, October 4, “National Manufacturing Day” in Vermont.
Vermont has a history of innovation—the modern machine shop was born in Windsor, Vermont in the 1800s. Today, the state is home to more than 1000 manufacturing companies ranging from IBM’s Essex Junction facility which builds the microchips and electronics used in many wireless devices to Concept2, the world’s leading maker of rowing machines and rowing oars.
Many of Vermont’s innovations have been created by people who moved here for the quality of life (CNBC ranks Vermont number two in the nation for quality of life) and brought or launched growing businesses. In fact, Vermont has been ranked one of the top 10 states for entrepreneurial activity in the Kauffman Index and is second in the nation in attracting college graduates as new residents, according to a September 2013 article in Governing.
The combination has helped build an environment of innovation and business incubation. As James Fallows, national correspondent of The Atlantic told NPR’s Marketplace in late September after a visit here as part of his “American Futures” tour: “There was an IBM plant near Burlington, started in the 1960s and people who originally moved there to work at IBM, their descendants, their friends, have stayed to create a little tech empire.”
For more information about Vermont’s 50 innovations, as well as links to Fallows’ article on Vermont’s economy and the NPR quiz “How Well Do You Know Burlington?” visit ThinkVermont.com.