Government Innovation Outposts in Silicon Valley – 2022 Report

It does not come as a surprise that not only multinational companies and investors are setting up a presence in Silicon Valley, but governments too.
In 2021, in order to provide an accurate picture of the growing phenomenon 
of global government presence in California, Mind the Bridge has mapped, surveyed, and interviewed dozens of Governmental Trade and Bridge Organizations, with a focus on inbound and outbond innovation, about their structure, strategies, activities, and results. The outcomes were included in a report, “Government Innovation Outposts in Silicon Valley”.

One year later, we have updated the research to factor, on the one hand, the evolution of the Silicon Valley ecosystem (both startups and corporate venturing), and, on the other hand, the newcomers. Here are some of the report highlights:
Government presence in Silicon Valley is a global phenomenon, and growing. Institutions from almost 40 countries worldwide have set foot in California. 63 outposts have been established. This is quite a recent trend: 60% of those outposts did not exist before 2010. Among the new arrivals, the European Union that now has its own “tech embassy” in San Francisco.

Best practices (and some “champions”) can already be spotted. Government Innovation Outposts in the Bay Area effectively act as one-stop-shops for innovation stakeholders. By appropriately measuring their performance in terms of internal structure,strategies and depth of external actions, we can already identify some trend-setters in terms of service offerings and degree of specialization. They represent a good benchmark for other agencies planning to follow suit.
Government Outposts produce value. Historically, Government Innovation Outposts in California delivered value. Based on our recent analysis, a typical government outpost – over a period of 10 years on average – supports the creation of 500+ jobs, fosters $250M in commercial deals, and attracts half a billion dollars in FDIs*. Figures like these cannot be overlooked. Some countries/regions have taken notes, and recently moved to host a cluster including startups and corporates (Italy), research (Germany) and policy making (the EU Commission).

Blending digital and physical support. The world is slowly entering a “new normal” phase after the dramatic pandemic of 2020. Government Outposts adapted quickly. They quickly turned digital during the Covid-19 peak. Now they are equipped to provide an accessible blend of digital and onsite services. The new normal also prompted a proliferation of new Digital matching platforms (such as MTB Ecosystem) that effectively complement the services delivered on site and provide more powerful tools to promote programs offered as well as the most interesting startups coming from a region. As Winston Churchill famously said… never let a good crisis go to waste.

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