Industries and Innovation in Delaware

Delaware’s diverse range of industries and talent provides countless ways to prosper at all levels.


A Pioneering Spirit Leads the Way in Delaware Industries and Innovation

For over 200 years, Delaware has been at the forefront of innovation and discovery-driven by giants in industry like DuPont. Today this legacy continues to be a pioneering force in the growth and prosperity of our diverse range of industries.

Our world-class universities and R&D facilities, forward-thinking industry leaders, and competitive cost of doing business together create a robust and prolific ecosystem that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.

Key Industries

Science & Technology: Delaware’s STEM-based industries are among the strongest in the nation.

  • Ranked 7th in the Milken Institute’s 2018 State Technology and Science Index
  • Fourth-highest concentration in the U.S. of PhDs working in health, science and engineering
  • Highest concentration of chemical engineers of any state
  • Home of Incyte, #7 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies

Business & Financial Services: Where the world chooses to do business.

  • More than one million businesses are incorporated here, including 66% of Fortune 500 companies
  • Home to nearly 40,000 financial services jobs
  • Financial services accounts for 9% of all jobs in Delaware, the highest share of any state
  • Home to financial powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, M&T Bank, WSFS Bank and Citibank

Food & Agriculture: A food production powerhouse on the cutting edge of some of the most modern advances in food and agriculture.

  • Delaware farms are among the most efficient and productive in the nation
  • Ranked second in the U.S. for agricultural value sold per acre
  • More than $1 billion in cash receipts from 2,300 farms on 530,000 acres
  • 40% of land use devoted to agriculture production
  • Leading producers of broiler chickens and lima beans

Manufacturing & Logistics: Ideally situated to build and export innovative solutions worldwide.

  • Center of largest consumer market in the U.S.
  • More than 50 million people within 250 miles
  • Close proximity to major airports with international and domestic cargo capacity
  • Major international port four hours from the Atlantic Ocean
  • Intermodal transfer points and rail freight facilities throughout the region

Education & Healthcare: World-class universities, researchers and hospitals that drive innovation.

  • 100+ colleges and universities within two hours
  • State’s largest health system, Christiana Care, is in the top 2% of all U.S. hospitals (Healthgrades)
  • State’s largest university, University of Delaware, is a major research and teaching university
  • Delaware State University is ranked #5 of America’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (
  • Robust network of technical education, including college, vocational high schools, trade schools and certificate programs

    An Innovation & Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

    Four companies headquartered in Delaware — AstraZeneca, Corteva, DuPont and Delaware’s robust ecosystem of professional and financial support, as well government, education and media resources, provides a fertile environment for business growth and innovation.

    Delaware is consistently recognized for our state of innovation:

    • Top ten best states for entrepreneurship (U.S. News & World Report, 2019)
    • #2 Average Number of Minority-Owned Businesses (Paychex, 2018)
    • #3 Innovation Capacity (Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2017)
    • Top 5 Best States for Data Innovation (Center for Data Innovation, 2017)
    • #6 U.S. State Innovation Index (Bloomberg, 2019)
    • #7 State Technology and Science Index (Milken Institute, 2018)
    • Top 10 Most Innovative States (WalletHub, 2019)
    • #1 Best States for Remote Work (WalletHub, 2020)
    • Delaware innovators have been issued the most patents, per capita, in the U.S.

    Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centers

    • Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus at the University of Delaware: The University of Delaware transformed a former Chrysler plant into the 272-acre STAR Campus with the goal of combining research, talent, and businesses in one location in the state.
        • The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is building a $156 million, 200,000 square-foot Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building at the STAR Campus, which will feature state-of-the-art labs and serve as a cutting-edge center for R&D and biopharmaceutical workforce training.
        • The newly built Chemours building at STAR is the global chemical company’s research and development headquarters, with access to a talented workforce from a top ten chemical engineering program.
        • The Tower at STAR Campus is an integral part of the University’s College of Health Sciences with language, hearing, speech and sleep research facilities.
    • The University of Delaware fosters entrepreneurial talent with the highly regarded Horn Entrepreneurship Program, which gives students access to hands-on, project- based learning with potential venture capital investment.

    • Delaware Technology Park (DTP): DTP is a leading nonprofit research park designed to provide early-stage companies with access to resources and connections.

    • Delaware Innovation Space: Operating at DuPont’s Experimental Station Campus, this space offers more than 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art lab space, focused on supporting growing companies in science, technology, manufacturing and more.

    • The Christiana Care Gene Editing Institute is the only research institute of its kind based within a community health care system and focuses on using the CRISPR gene editing tool.

    • Emerging Enterprise Center: Provides affordable office space for entrepreneurs, along with regular pitching, incubator, mentorship and networking programs.

    • The WIN Factory: The WIN Factory is Wilmington’s first Black-owned coworking space with a mission to create a community of mutual support for entrepreneurs.

    • Middletown Business Incubator & Collaborative Workspace: Provides resources for businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and be successful in the southern New Castle area.

    • First Founder’s Accelerator: The Accelerator’s mission is to boost underrepresented founders — those from one or more groups including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, people with disabilities and women — with a free 12-week program of educational sessions and mentoring.

    • Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3): Barclays US Consumer Bank, Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Wilmington Alliance partnered to create E3 to foster racial equity, especially in terms of resources, contracts and funding.

    University Research Programs