Europe is seriously looking at Silicon Valley for boosting its ability to innovate.
More and more European corporates have or are planning to set foot in the Bay Area. We tracked 44 large European corporations that have an innovation corporate outpost in Silicon Valley. And numbers are on the rise. Almost 50% of the outposts were established after 2010. More than one third of them have opened in the last 3 years. And many other corporations are lined up to launch their own outpost this year. Germany and France lead the pack of European innovation settlers in the Bay Area.

64% of the outposts are originally from these two countries. Automotive, Telecom, Finance and Energy are the industries that are currently most interested in having eyes and ears in Silicon Valley. The presence of the European innovation outposts in the Bay Area varies in goal, size and depth of operations. Almost half of the companies have opted for a lean presence, in the form of either a Corporate Innovation Antenna and/or a Corporate Venture Capital Office.

The other half have chosen a more structured presence either in the form of Corporate Innovation Lab or an R&D Center. Trends reporting, technology scouting (for investment, acquisition or co-development), startup acceleration, initial production and MVP/prototyping are the key drivers of a presence in the Valley.

Innovation outposts in Silicon Valley have the potential to allow companies to make significant technological advances and offer a direct competitive advantage. That’s why it is key to learn from the corporates that are ahead of the game as well as the corporates that have restructured their presence in the Bay Area.

This is the forum we are trying to create with the research work and the directory that is attached to it. Obviously, this is still a work in progress, whose refinement will require the participation of the increasingly connected community of European-friendly organizations located in the Bay Area.

Initiatives such as Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) provide a natural platform where information and business opportunities can flow freely across the pond.

The following is an attempt to “open source” this effort to the relevant community.

by Marco Marinucci & Alberto Onetti

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