Friday, August 1, 2008

Route to Innovation: How Do We Get There?

Generally, when a person thinks of specific locations around the world where innovation has branched from you think of Stockholm, Munich, Boston, and Silicon Valley. Some of the world’s biggest companies like Google and Facebook were started up by garage geniuses in these great university cities. Still with all these innovation centers around the world there is still no one uniform idea about how to foster innovation.

This article in the Financial Times discusses how Dubai is a good example of a city, which is ranked 14th in the global innovation index, that fosters innovation in a different way than other locations. Dubai is not known for their internationally filed patents, instead Dubai concentrates on learning from and absorbing innovations from elsewhere. It has achieved this in the past by a mixture of investor-friendly legislation and financial incentives.

Dubai’s main competition, London, still has the upper hand. London and NY are similar because these cities are considered “knowledge centers”. London has Cambridge that helps create and implement ideas that help London innovate all over the world. NY and Boston work the same way. Innovation-driven prosperity seems to be a popular route for these big cities, but they will have to fully integrate ideas with the rest of the world in the future in order to come out a winner in the global market.

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