Tech Hubs

Leading innovation hubs | cities outpacing the competition

The 2019 Technology Innovation Hubs report includes perspectives from KPMG’s latest global Technology Industry Innovation Survey, now in its seventh year. Over 740 global technology industry leaders (76 percent C-suite) ranked the cities and countries that are leading innovation centers. The paper also outlines what technology company executives and venture capitalists should consider when selecting and investing in technology incubators.


Top highlights

  • For the first time in our survey, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) believe that the innovation center of the world will move away from Silicon Valley in the next four years.
  • New York was ranked as the leading innovation hub outside Silicon Valley. Beijing was second. Tokyo and London tied for third, and Shanghai and Taipei tied for fifth. 
  • The U.S. and China held on to the top two spots in the survey rankings for countries expected to produce the most disruptive technologies (23 percent versus 17 percent). 
  • There are several local environment factors that companies should consider when looking to acquire a company, or build a new HQ, satellite office, or R&D center. These include, but are not limited to, a pipeline of skilled talent, the anchor of a research-intensive university, a favorable regulatory environment, generous tax and other government incentives, and available investment funding.

Leading innovation hubs



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Competitors gain on Silicon Valley

For the first time in KPMG’s global Technology Industry Innovation Survey, more than half (58 percent) of the respondents believe Silicon Valley will no longer be the technology innovation center of the world in four years. Despite all the positive business factors present in Silicon Valley, an escalating cost of living, questions about diversity and corporate cultures, high business taxes, an overmatched infrastructure, and even increasing scrutiny into data privacy and other business practices are contributing to the perception that Silicon Valley may not continue to dominate tech innovation in the coming years.

Locations outside the Bay Area are now common choices for new offices and innovation centers. Headline-grabbing announcements by several of the tech giants helped push U.S cities New York, Boston, Austin, and Washington, D.C., up in the rankings in this year’s survey. Beijing, Tokyo, London, and Shanghai all retained positions in the top five, although in different order from last year. Other notable risers included Taipei and Paris.  

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U.S. and China are still the disruptors, but gaps shrinking 

The U.S. and China held on to the top two spots in the survey rankings for countries expected to produce the most disruptive technologies (23 percent versus 17 percent). However, the U.S.’s lead shrunk from last year when the U.S. garnered an eight percentage point difference over China for the top spot.  

Further supporting that technology innovation is decentralizing across the globe, in last year’s survey the U.S. and China were voted the top two countries by 60 percent of survey respondents. In this year’s survey, only 40 percent voted them the top two countries. 

The gap between second and third place also decreased. Last year, China held a 13 percentage point difference over third place India. This year, the U.K. was ranked third, but was only eight percentage points behind China. Japan, Singapore, and India round out the top five this year. 

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