Research shows Bay Area’s commanding lead in innovation

The San Francisco Bay Area is the leading innovation region in the country, according to new research.

The Atlantic’s CityLab today published a story on new research on geography that gives the San Francisco Bay Area the nation’s lead in innovation.

The story points out that the new study is in line with earlier findings by AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of UC Berkeley’s School of Information and an authority on the global technology economy.

Atlantic writer Richard Florida, a professor of global research at New York University and director of an institute at the University of Toronto, points to work by researchers at the University of Toronto, Harvard University and the Georgia Institute of Technology that uses patent trends in 22 major metropolitan areas to track innovation trends across the United States.

The latest work, published by the American Economic Association, finds what Florida calls a “staggering” surge in innovation across several high tech industries in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley region over the past four decades.

Florida notes that the Bay Area accounts for about 40 percent of all venture capital investment in high tech startups across the country, and more than 25 percent of it globally.

A 2001 paper coauthored by Saxenian, also a professor of city and regional planning, showed how some regions thrive in the tech economy by redefining themselves through innovations in new industries and sectors.

Read more here.