Closeup of computer chip and processor.

Silicon Valley Everywhere

For decades, Silicon Valley was the unparalleled epicenter of high-tech innovation, and regions that tried to imitate its success did not succeed. But recently, the competition has gotten fiercer – and, unlike the original, it is overwhelmingly centered in urban areas.

CAMBRIDGE – During the last decades of the twentieth century, Silicon Valley was the unparalleled epicenter of high-tech innovation. Other regions tried to imitate its success, but none succeeded. France’s Sophia Antipolis, a top-down attempt by the government to create an innovation hub near Cannes, never evolved beyond its origins as a relatively tranquil technology park – notwithstanding its mythological name, California-like weather, and the surrounding area’s unbeatable gastronomy.

In the twenty-first century, however, Silicon Valley’s competition has gotten fiercer – as reflected by the increasing number of locations affixing the chemical element to their names: Silicon Alley (New York), Silicon Wadi (Tel Aviv), Silicon Sentier (Paris), etc. In London, for example, the emergence of Silicon Roundabout in the late 2000s caught the British government almost by surprise. Now rebranded Tech City, the innovation hub in the old Shoreditch neighborhood has evolved into one of London’s key economic engines and talent magnets.

Similar scripts are playing out around the world. In Berlin, a new startup is said to be founded every 20 minutes. Paris is busy building what will be Europe’s largest incubator at Halle Freyssinet. And in Tel Aviv, the phrase “Startup Nation” has gone from a political slogan to economic reality.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/5rLfwij;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now