The release of the Report was celebrated at the San Francisco Exploratorium and featured three panel discussions focused on:
- The role of consulates, particularly technology diplomacy
For this, the Consuls General of Ireland, Canada, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom were in attendance.
- Innovation platforms
For this purpose, the panel included executives from global innovation platforms such as Swissnex and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
- Corporate Innovation Offices
Representatives from global companies such as Plug and Play Tech Center, Tech Mahindra, Stanford University's US-Asia Technology Management Center and Relay Ventures were invited to participate in the exchange.
Strong optimism for further innovation collaboration
The panelists were in agreement that the future of innovation collaborations in the Bay Area remains bright, despite the challenges the pandemic has brought, because of the region’s concentration of intellectual power, entrepreneurial spirit, financial resources, and governmental support.
One of the panelists was Peter Bae of the Korea Innovation Center. He emphasized the great advantage that in the Bay Area, findings from innovation collaboration are easily passed on and new players thus do not have to "reinvent the wheel". This fact is a major contributor to the region's rapid emergence as the world's leading innovation hub.
Conclusion of the report: Only one sector was weakened by the pandemic
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute report is titled Innovation Platform: The Future of Global Technology and Innovation Collaboration in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area. It summarizes the results of extensive surveys and interviews with local representatives of numerous global organizations. Interviewees include diplomats, government trade and investment organizations, government and university science organizations, corporate research and development centers, corporate innovation offices, government and corporate venture capital funds.
The study concludes that while the pandemic has severely impacted global operations, most organizations have made a smooth transition to digital platforms and are now looking to return to live events. The only sector that saw a significant decline was the innovation offices of European companies. This challenge must now be addressed.
“To some degree corporate, startup and venture activity will be more widely distributed across the U.S., but the centrality of the Bay Area to technology development and the innovation process continues and is unlikely to change soon. This reflects the Bay Area’s continued concentration of innovation assets (universities, companies, and venture capital), the density of its networks, and the pivotal role it continues to play as governments and businesses around the world increasingly embrace digital technologies.”