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Majority of Global Tech Industry Leaders Expect Silicon Valley to be Surpassed as Tech Innovation Center: KPMG Report

Tech Industry Leaders Expect Shift from Silicon Valley

New York, Beijing, Tokyo and London seen as becoming leading tech hubs outside Silicon Valley.

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For the first time in KPMG's annual Global Technology Industry Innovation Survey, more than half of the respondents believe Silicon Valley will no longer be the technology innovation center of the world in four years. Eleven of the top 15 cities named by respondents are located in the US and the Asia Pacific region.

These findings are the first of a series of reports highlighting key insights from a survey of over 740 technology industry leaders globally.

“The belief that Silicon Valley will be displaced as the leading hub underscores the continuing decentralization of technology innovation, spurred by investment in other cities and regions globally, as well as contributing factors in Silicon Valley,” said Tim Zanni, KPMG Global and US Technology Leader. “Several much-discussed factors ranging from the cost-of-living to an overmatched infrastructure to questions about corporate culture are contributing to the perception that Silicon Valley may not continue to dominate tech innovation in the coming years.”

Nearly 60 percent believe that it is likely or very likely that the technology innovation center of the world will move from Silicon Valley by 2023. While not specifically addressing which city would replace Silicon Valley, in a separate question, tech industry leaders tabbed New York to become the top tech hub in addition to Silicon Valley. Other notable findings from the global survey include:

  • Paris, unranked in KPMG's survey last year, debuted at 14th place this year, putting the city firmly on the radar as a rising technology innovation hub.
  • Berlin performed most consistently compared to other cities in the KPMG survey, demonstrating that Berlin's potential as a future tech innovation center is underrated.
  • Sydney, Toronto and Shenzhen dropped outside the top 20 for 2019. 

Here are the top 15 cities outside Silicon Valley:

1. New York
2. Beijing
3. Tokyo and London
5. Shanghai and Taipei
7. Singapore
8. Seoul
9. Boston and Austin
11. Berlin
12. Hong Kong (SAR)
13. Washington DC
14. Paris
15. Tel Aviv

The rankings reflect the perception of technology industry leaders surveyed, and provide an interesting juxtaposition when compared to four other publicly available data-driven indices. Together, they offer additional insight into the prospects for these technology innovation hubs.

To see the cities in KPMG's ranking compared across the other four indices, please visit Technology innvoation hubs (PDF 560 KB).

At the same time, the KPMG study shows that other countries are closing the gap on the US and China in the race to be a technology innovation leader.

When considering the most promising market for tech innovation and breakthroughs that have a global impact, 23 percent of those surveyed named the US compared to 34 percent in last year's report. China remained second at 17 percent compared to 26 percent a year ago, followed by the UK at 9 percent, with Japan ranked fourth and Singapore and India tied for fifth. The grouping of the top 5 countries is much closer than in last year's survey. 

“Even when faced with pressing issues that call for funding, cities and countries are carving out significant investment to become a technology innovation hub due to an expected broad economic impact,” said Zanni. “They are acting on the Nobel Prize-winning theory that investing in tech innovation, the knowledge sector and human capital will drive long-term economic growth.” 

For more information and to read the report please visit our website.

About the research

The 2019 KPMG Technology Industry Innovation Survey, now in its seventh year, included responses from over 740 global leaders in the technology industry. Twelve countries were represented and 76 percent of the respondents were C-level executives. The online survey was conducted from December 2018 to January 2019.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 153 countries and have 207,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

For more information, please contact

Lauren Mostowyk
KPMG International
+ 1 416 777 3155
lmostowyk@kpmg.ca

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