Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Tech hubs around the globe

A recent article (about how the Israeli-Palestian conflict has effected Israel's hi-tech sector) got me wondering where are all the tech hubs around the globe?

The tech hubs in the US are usually spawned near universities (e.g., Silicon Valley and Boston), government (DC / Virginia), or a large corporate presence (Redmond). Is it the same in other countries? For example, IIT doesn't have a Bangalore campus, does it? So why did it become the IT tech hub of India?  Is Tokyo the tech hub of Japan, or do the large Japanese corporations constitute tech hubs?

So, how 'bout it international JoS'ers - what's your tech hub and how did it get its status as such?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Sydney is supposedly the biggest IT centre in the Asia-Pacific region, although according to an article I read in the Economist about Australia's "economic miracle" ( it attributed the ongoing growth in the Australian economy in part to the small IT sector. (And I'm not sure if the public perceive the Australian economy to be in a state of "miracle" right now - the stormclouds surrounding the soon to collapse property market have been gathering for quite some time now while financial institutions, telcos, etc have consistently reported hard times for at least 2 years now).

Walter Rumsby
Monday, March 24, 2003

I live in Saudi Arabia, and most of our technology vendors are based in Dubai.  Of course we have local distributors, but most Middle East HQs are based in Dubai.  The Sheik of Dubai has created a free, open society with many incentives to attract big business.  The city is beautiful and the infrastructure is second-to-none.  It is a perfect location for tech companies.

All of the companies in Dubai are physically located in the same area off of Sheik Zayed Road on the way to the Hard Rock Cafe.  It's a very impressive area to visit, even moreso than Silicon Valley.

Matt Foley
Monday, March 24, 2003

"IIT doesn't have a Bangalore campus, does it? So why did it become the IT tech hub of India"

Most of the IIT graduates go to the US for further studies, so an IIT presence doesn't usually mean anything. For instance IIT has a campus in Kharagpur, which hasn't done much for the city.

Bangalore had a number of good things going - great weather for one. A/C's were quite expensive in the late 80's, and the weather was so good there was no need to have an A/C. There are tons of engineering colleges in the state, and quite highly rated too - since these weren't "exporting" as much as the IITs, the local industry tended to flourish. Low cost of real estate and a very helpful state government also fuelled the rise. (The first Internet gateway was setup in Bangalore in 1993)

Corporates also played a role. Infosys and Wipro, two of India's largest IT brands, are HQ'ed in Bangalore. and so is IBMs India center. Check out for some of these reasons.

There are many more such "hubs" coming up - Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Delhi are some of them. Mumbai is coming along quite well too.

Deepak Shenoy
Monday, March 24, 2003

Tokyo is the hub of everything in Japan. Japan's top universities, banks, fashion industry, media industry, etc are all headquartered in Tokyo.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Microsoft has been putting money in Cambridge (as in the famous UK university), and a lot of tech companies are starting to spring up in the area.

Monday, March 24, 2003

And then there are two games development hubs in the UK - one clustered around Bullfrog in Surrey and one clustered around Codemasters in Warwickshire.

Katie Lucas
Monday, March 24, 2003

Tech Hubs in India:

Banglore, Hyderabad, Chennai(Madras), Bombay(Mumbai - including Navi Mumbai) + a host of STP's (Software technology parks) in various parts of the country.

There are no IIT's in B'lore but there is the IISc (Indian Institute of Science) - which is another premier science & technology insititute. I agree with Deepak on the weather factor and that most IT companies have their roots in B'lore.

Tech Hubs in Middle East:
Other than Israel, Dubai is the biggest place for IT. Like Matt says it is getting as good as the Valley, if not better. They cater to not only the Middle east, but to most regions of West Africa, South Africa, CIS countries.

In Europe: My guess is Ireland, Britain, Germany, Romania, Hungary, and other countries.
Ofcourse there is russia too.

Prakash S
Monday, March 24, 2003

Don't forget Texas. It has become the HQ for the entertainment software industry. Walk into any shop and over 40% of the games on the shelf come from Texas (that is the largest from any single area).

Monday, March 24, 2003

Hi Matt,
            Nice to know there's somebody else based in Saudi on the forum. Send me an email and maybe we could meet up for a chat; I suggest going over to Bahrain for a beer, but the Brits have all  been told to evacuate by the embassy.

            I reckon you and Prakash are way exaggerating when it comes to Dubai. Dubai is a SHOPPING hub. It's not even that great a shopping hub,, compared to somewhere like Singapore. You can buy consumer computer goods in Dubai but that is not what the oriiginal poster meant when he called it a tech hub. There are no software developers of note in Dubai, even for the Arab market only; the only two computer magazines, "Windows" and "PC Magazine Middle East" vie with each other to see who can brownnose local technology most, and the only computer assembler Compu ME, is of less importance than any of the couple of dozen mid-range mail order computer assemblers you get in the UK.

            Most companies in the Middle East have their centre in Dubai, unless like Microsoft they set up a centre in each country. Many still use Cyprus however, and you don't see Cyprus touted as a high tech hub. The reason they use Dubai is simple; you can DRINK in Dubai. So faced with having to pay staff 50% extra, and use male staff only, to live in Saudi, companies use Dubai. Also Dubai has become the airport hub for the Middle East; most flights from Europe to the Far East stop to do a pick up, or refuel, and as Dubai has an absolutely fabulous airport, it has managed to become the preferred port of call. And people are beginning to stop off to do some shopping and sigt-seeing. It makes a nice break in the jouney since a five hour flight is OK, but a nine or twelve hour flight is hell.

            The Sheikh's internet city is more wishful thinking than reality. Everything was supposed to be finished a couple of years ago but when I asked the receptionist at the hotel if the extension in the hotel rooms was digital or analog - I didn't want to fry my modem - neither he, nor anybody else in the hotel had the least idea what I was talking about. I used the internet facililty provided at the Girl's College where the conference was. Only half the lines worked and the total bandiwidth for the whole college appeared to be 128Kbs; a demonstation on using Internet chat for EFL could only have one connection because there wasn't enough bandwidth to set it up otherwise. Compare that with Korea, which has the highest bandwidth availibilty in the world.

        And remember that the Emirates uses the same censorship proxy software that Saudi does. IHow can you have a high-tech hub when most of your machines are unpatched because the censorship has autimatically blocked Windows Update (yep, happens for days on end), or when you try and check up something on a tech site and  find its banned and the unblocking form times out?

          I'm afraid that Dubai has as much to do with a high tech hub as a French hunting fraternity has with the US Marines.

Stephen Jones
Monday, March 24, 2003

Matt Foley,
Do you live in a van down by the river? Inspirational speaker by chance?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Dear trollbooth,
                        He said he lived in Saudi; there aren't any rivere in Saudi.

Stephen Jones
Monday, March 24, 2003

Re Sydney - 11 percent unemployment in the IT sector, according to a survey by the Australian Computer Society.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Stephen you do make some good points.

The Dubai market is more of infrastructure, sales and customization. Not much software development per se takes place, but it is still a very important Tech Hub for the region. (Might not be for the right reasons but then what is)

Broadband is very expensive, there is only one ISP - there are a lot of drawbacks, but these are things which are been looked at and improved.

The dubai sheik is a true visionary. It has only been a couple of years since this venture has started, give it time and people will come.

Prakash S
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I am quite familiar with Dubai Internet City. I physically setup and currently remotely administrate a cluster of servers there (I live in Oregon).

For those not familiar with Dubai Internet City, DIC is a beautiful complex of high-tech office buildings built by the government to encourage tech business in Dubai. While the office buildings are very impressive and many existing Dubai tech companies have relocated there, nothing truly innovative has come from DIC. As Stephan has correctly pointed out, DIC doesn't live up to its hype.

I'm not sure what Prakash mean by saying Dubai is "better" then Silicon Valley. Do you mean the office buildings are nicer?


BTW, Stephen their internet connection for companies inside DIC does not go through a proxy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Right; now all I need to do is to persuade the Saudis to set up an internet city in Jubail and I can acess hardcorebasic and without having to ask the webmasters to email me everything specially!

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, March 25, 2003


I meant in terms of serving that particular region, and the kind of growth in such a short span.

Prakash S
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Any of you guys heard of MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor)? It is in Malaysia and supposed to be some kind of Tech Hub or something.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Yea, it hit the news recently because the immigration police invaded one of the apartment blocks there and carted off about 250 Inidan programmers handcuffed to nick, where it kept them for most of the day.

Half of those affected, plus a fair number of the other Indian programmers in the area (there don't seem to be many Malay or Malay/Chinese programmers) packed up their bags and left in a huff.

The Malayasian Interior Minister apologized to the Head of the Indian High Commission, but much of the harm appears to have been done.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

every body seems to be forgetting IISc and considoring only IITs.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home