Technology gives states the opportunity to improve city services, streamline government efficiency, and grow their economy–but only if the correct technology is selected and deployed properly. Understanding what works and what doesn’t not only helps states leading the charge on innovative technology, but also those dragging their heels.

The Consumer Technology Association released the 2017 Innovation Scorecard, its third such report. The Innovation Scorecard ranks states in four categories: Innovative Champion, Innovative Leader, Innovative Adopter, and Modest Innovator. Rankings are based on 10 indicators comparing economic and educational data and the regulatory frameworks for workplace flexibility, ridesharing, homesharing, self-driving cars, drones, and sustainable policies.

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“States are the laboratories of democracy–and right now we have 50 experiments happening across the country, with each state working to grow their economy and be home to the next big idea,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “As they seek ways to drive growth and encourage homegrown entrepreneurs, state legislatures and governors should look to the innovation-friendly policies and best practices outlined in this report that advance job creation, fuel local economies and drive a state’s bottom line.”

In this year’s scorecard, 10 states received the ranking of Innovative Champion. Four states–Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Washington–were first-time champions and Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, Utah, and Virginia were all returning champions.

States wishing to improve their ranking can look to the champion states for best practices and project ideas. While not all initiatives will work each state, they do provide helpful tips and tricks to move the technology needle forward.


Colorado received its top ranking for a number of existing and new initiatives. Some focused on improving business practices to lure new technology companies to the area. The CTA noted the state’s business-friendly tax policies, strong job and small business growth, and large technology talent pool. The CTA did note that the state isn’t a right-to-work state. However, Colorado does have a state law protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, Colorado has strong sustainability policies, including legalizing ride-sharing services statewide, enacting positive municipal rules for home sharing, and a market-based policy for recycling electronics, along with a ban on disposing of them in state landfills. The state also has no laws restricting self-driving cars or drone technology.

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