Category Archives: High-Tech

Innovation Index

To innovate means literally to renew or change something. Innovation is about coming up with a better process, creating a new product, improving an existing one, opening a new market, finding a new source of supply or creating a better way to organize ourselves. Innovation may be technology-driven today but it is just as likely to focus on a new and better way for people to work together.

Why is innovation such a hot topic right now?

Quite simply, we believe it to be the primary drive of economic growth – and after years of recession across the industrial world, growth is a top priority. However, innovation turns out to be surprisingly hard to measure, since it flows through ideas and experiments into services and products.

An initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, Purdue University, and Indiana University is working to provide a deeper understanding of where innovation is taking place.  StatsAmerica  has produced an “innovation index” for every county in the United States. Kentucky’s county-level results are illustrated on the map below, with the highest innovation index values anchoring the three angles of the urban triangle—the Louisville area, Northern Kentucky, and Fayette County. The index is based on four broad categories and includes 22 different variables. The four broad categories include Human Capital, Economic Dynamics, Productivity and Employment, and Economic Well-Being. Some of the variables include educational attainment, high-technology employment, broadband adoption, venture capital investments, patent creation, worker productivity, proprietor income, the poverty rate, and per capita income.

The index is scaled so that 100 is the U.S. average. The highest ranked Kentucky county is Fayette at 101.8. Santa Clara County, California—which is Silicon Valley—and Broomfield County, Colorado—which is the Denver area—have the highest values in the United States at 125.4 each; Hancock County, Tennessee, which is located along the Kentucky-Tennessee border in the eastern region has the lowest index value in the country at 61.7.

Kentucky Innovation Index by County

Innovation Index
Source:, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. Work was conducted by the Purdue Center for Regional Development, the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and other research partners.

Efforts by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship within the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET) within the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky, as well as Kentucky’s Innovation Network, a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, are designed to stimulate entrepreneurialism, foster commercialization, and improve the state’s innovation capacity – essential elements for our collective future.

To read more about innovation in Kentucky, check out the 2015 Kentucky Annual Economic Report, recently released by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky.

– CLX Economic Development Team

Commerce Lexington Update

  • Piramal Enterprises Limited, an Indian firm based in Mumbai, has acquired Coldstream Laboratories  for $30.6 million. Coldstream was founded in 2007 and controlled by the University of Kentucky research foundation.  Coldstream is a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) focused on the development and manufacturing of sterile injectable products.  Coldstream currently employs 91 people.

The Social Side of Gaming

59% of Americans play video games. – Entertainment Software Association

Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the worldwide video game marketplace is forecast to reach $111 billion by 2015. Thanks to a growing community of local gamers and support from a host of local agencies, including Commerce Lexington and the Lexington Innovation and Commercialization Center, Lexington now has seven full-fledged game development companies that are increasingly bringing those dollars to the Bluegrass.

Last Tuesday, September 30, Commerce Lexington and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development brought seven freelance journalists to town to visit with local game developers at Awesome Inc., the tech business incubator on Main Street. For two hours, journalists played games and interviewed developers, gaining a sense of the excitement and passion surrounding Lexington’s gaming community.

Lexington Gaming
Freelance journalists visit with local game developers at Awesome Inc.

Game development companies located in Lexington include:

Cultivating the local gaming community is Run Jump Dev, a nonprofit that is committed to creating strong game developers and successful companies in the Bluegrass Region. Seeded with raw passion for creating games, Run Jump Dev hosts workshops, networking events, game jams, and helps connect local gaming entrepreneurs to funding and business development opportunities.

Could Lexington soon be known as “The Horse and Video Game Capital of the World?”

– CLX Economic Development Team

Commerce Lexington Update

  • Commerce Lexington released the October 2014 edition of Business Focus
  • One of Lexington’s newest residents, Seamus Carey, Ph.D., Transylvania University’s 26th president, will be headlining Good Morning Bluegrass on Tuesday, October 7th
  • Commerce Lexington will host Senator Mitch McConnell at a Public Policy Luncheon, Friday, October 10th.

Transposagen & Frogdice to Create New High-Tech Jobs in Lexington

Lexington-based Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., and Frogdice Inc., will together create 28 new jobs, 23 of which are considered high-tech and technical support jobs paying an average annual salary, exclusive of benefits, of more than $59,000 and $49,000, respectively.

Transposagen, based in Lexington, is a leader in the development of unique rat models that can mimic human diseases and are used for drug discovery and development research. Transposagen currently sells over 300 different TKO