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Hybrid and remote workforce models accelerated by the COVID‑19 pandemic have advanced the perception that innovation does not rely on physical proximity or location. However, the annual KPMG survey of the global technology industry, now in its ninth year, reveals that physical workplaces and innovation hubs remain key components of technology companies’ strategy.

The 2021 Technology Innovation Hubs report focuses on the locations that are seen as leading technology innovation. It provides insights on what executives and venture capitalists should consider when selecting and investing in technology centers, seeking to acquire a company, entering a joint venture, expanding operations, building a new office or innovation center, or developing a new workforce model. Key findings include the following:

In the new business environment being created by COVID-19, how important is a physical hub location in driving technology innovation?

Almost twice as many global technology company leaders believe that physical hubs are still important in driving technology innovation as opposed to those who believe they are not.

 

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In the new business environment being created by COVID-19, how important is a physical hub location in driving technology innovation?

Source: KPMG Technology Industry Survey 2021, n=825

How the pandemic has changed the opinion of which cities will be leading technology innovation hubs.

Sixty‑one percent say the pandemic has changed their opinion of which cities will become leading technology innovation hubs.

 

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How the pandemic has changed the opinion of which cities will be leading technology innovation hubs.

Source: KPMG Technology Industry Survey 2021, n=504

Likelihood the innovation center of the world will move from Silicon Valley in the next four years.

As hybrid and remote models disperse the workforce, just as many tech leaders feel that Silicon Valley will maintain its leadership position over the next four years as those who believe it will not. And there are yet more undecided which direction this will go.

 

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Likelihood the innovation center of the world will move from Silicon Valley in the next four years.

Source: KPMG Technology Industry Survey 2021, n=325

Here are the top cities seen as leading technology hubs (outside Silicon Valley/San Francisco) over the next four years.

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The top cities seen as leading technology hubs (outside Silicon Valley/San Francisco) over the next four years.

Source: KPMG Technology Industry Survey 2021, n=504
Up to three responses allowed per respondent.

No matter where a technology hub springs up, there are certain factors that are crucial to its long-term viability. Respondents to this year’s survey prioritized these factors as follows.

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Most important factors that enable a city to become a technology innovation center.

Source: KPMG Technology Industry Survey 2021, n=825
Up to three responses allowed per respondent.