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Silicon Valley, Boston, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Tel Aviv and Bangalore are among the world’s top 7 innovation clusters.

Innovation is a key aspect for technological development and the advancement of society. This is why companies seek locations where research and development can be carried out with the best possible results. This is the origin of clusters, “geographically concentrated groups of interrelated companies and instructions that compete in the same business” according to IDEPA.

As for Spanish cities, there are none in the highest positions, however, in technology we find Madrid in 45th position and Barcelona in 46th position according to the ranking of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Each year the WIPO, the INSEADBbusiness Sschool and the University of Cornell produce the Global Innovation Index (GII) to show which are the most innovative countries in the world. Last 2020 this index pointed out Switzerland as the most innovative economy, followed by Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong. In 30th place is Spain.

However, information on more innovative clusters is not as common, which is why the data in this ranking is drawn from the graph produced by Nader Sabry from Growth Hacking in 2018 and data from Primalbase Team.

Top 8 clusters Nader Sabry

On loan from Nader Sabry

1. Sillicon Valley (United States)

Sillicon Valleyis the world’s largest innovation cluster. It is a region south of San Francisco.

There are a number of well-known companies operating out of Silicon Valley, but Adobe, Cisco, eBay, Electronic Arts, HP, Intel, Oracle, Yahoo!, PayPal, McAfee, etc. stand out. But the biggest are the tech giants Google, Apple and Facebook. Their venture capital is estimated at around $11,200 billion. Facebook alone had revenues of $70.7 billion and $274.5 billion for Apple.


Google complex in Silicon Valley

This location brings together most of the keys, such as good weather, the culture of entrepreneurship that characterizes the United States, strong>strong Intellectual Property laws and liberal immigration laws, as this cluster has a 64% of foreign workers. As Boston has MIT, California has CalTech (California Institute of Technology), one of the world’s leading institutions dedicated to science, research and engineering.

Boston (United States)

Boston is a city in Massachusetts, on the east coast of the United States. In terms of venture capital, it is estimated at $3.6 billion. Its keys are the entrepreneurial culture that characterizes the United States, strong Intellectual Property laws and liberal immigration laws. Boston is home to the majority of biomedical sector funding, as well as 85 colleges and universities. One of the most notorious is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) one of the leaders in technological research and innovation generation.


Entrance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) complex.

Its top companies are Akamai and Genzyme. Akamai is a global content delivery network, cybersecurity and cloud services offering web and Internet security services. For its part, Genzyme is a biotechnology company that is a subsidiary of Sanofi. It is one of the largest companies in the biotechnology sector in the world.

3. Paris – Saclay (France)

The Paris-Saclay complex is located on the west outskirts of Paris.

This cluster in the French capital, like Moscow, receives government funding. In this case the sum amounts to $3.25 billion. Key aspects are its strong Intellectual Property laws, liberal immigration laws and entrepreneurial culture. In addition, six engineering schools are emerging within this cluster.


Image of the exterior of the Paris-Saclay complex

In terms of companies, the most notable are IBM, Fujitsu, EDF and Danone.  IBM has an innovation center, Fujitsu an artificial intelligence center, EDF (Electricité de France) has an R&D link and Danone a research center. The companies  Siemens France and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) within which the Airbus are not located exactly in such a cluster but are close to it.

Siemens France is lworld leader in the digital transformation of industrywhile EADS is Europe’s leading defense groupand one of the top 5 in the world. There is also auniversity named after the complex.

4. Skolkovo Innovation City – Moscow (Russia)

This site is located on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow. It is a government-funded cluster and receives an estimated $2.5 billion in subsidies. Some keys to Skolkovo’s success are liberal immigration laws.

 The main companies in Skolkovo are IBM and Rusnano. IBMis a U.S. company, but in Russia it has a development center. Rusnano, on the other hand, is an institution created by presidential initiative with the mission of creating a high-tech industry based on nanotechnology. In addition, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) has an agreement with the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT).


Image of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology campus.

5. Beijing (China)

Beijing (Beijing in English) is the capital of one of the world’s major powers, China. This city is located in the northeast of the country.

Companies that stand out in the Chinese landscape are Baidu and Lenovo, among many others. Baidu is one of the world’s largest companies specialized in services and products related to the Internet and artificial intelligence. Lenovo, on the other hand, is a computer, tablet and smart phone company. The venture capital in this cluster is approximately 1,400 million dollars. If you also add the Shenzen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Shanghai technology clusters, it puts China very close to Sillicon Valley as the world’s leading technology center. What makes China’s capital an attractive place are the low cost of living and the commitment to innovation.


Pictures from the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing

Also China’s censorship of tech giants like Google has allowed some alternative companies to grow.

 6. Tel Aviv (Israel).

The coastal city of Tel Aviv is located in the Middle East, a location that is “closer” to the European continent as well as to Asia.

Leading companies located in Israel are Waze, a GPS navigation application and Teva, a pharmaceutical company specializing in genetically engineered drugs and active ingredients. The venture capital of this cluster is estimated at $1 billion. The keys to this location are its good climate, the fact that the immigration laws are liberal and that it has a culture of entrepreneurship.


Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Towers

On the other hand, it is an economically stable territory despite political and security problems. Since its technological advances in software were necessary for the intelligence forces during the conflicts in the Middle East.

In the city of Tel Aviv alone, there are 2,500 startups in a city of only 435,000 inhabitants, thus having one of the highest startup densities in the world.

 7. Bangalore (India).

In one of the world’s emerging countries, India, is Bangalore or Bangaluru, in the southern part of the Asian subcontinent.

The ‘top’ companies are Infosys and Wipro. Both are multinationals offering business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. Their venture capital is estimated at $300 million. One of the keys to this cluster is its good climate.


Bengalore World Trade Center (India)

Many of the companies that operate have had previous experience in Silicon Valley and return to their country to develop their startups. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be two million information technology professionals, six million indirect jobs and a figure of 80 billion dollars in exports according to Primalbase.

Image credits: Google; Jake Belcher; Contextes; Skoltech; Xinhua; Dana Friedlander for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism; Brigade Group