Silicon Valley is still the place to be for corporates that want to be at the forefront of innovation. According to the last ReportCorporate Innovation Outposts in Silicon Valley 2022 produced by Mind the Bridge and presented today at the Opening Session of the Scaleup Summit San Francisco, the flow of large corporates setting their own innovation outpost in this region is in continued acceleration and so are the models and methodologies used by such units. 

While is undoubtful that the COVID-19 epidemic has had some effects on the medium term commitment of such outposts, for the most part data shows that both the number and the size of such units are experiencing a steady growth – commented Marco Marinucci, founder and CEO of Mind the BridgeAs of October 2022, we record 405 active Open Innovation Outposts run by 330 leading global corporates, 56 with multiple facilities and 274 with only a single outpost. Four out of five were not present in Silicon Valley before 2010.”

  • Data show that before 2000, there were only 23 active Open Innovation Outposts in Silicon Valley. Since 2016, 178 new outposts have been tracked, 70 more than the previous 5-year period (a 64% growth compared to 2010-2015).
  • The largest share (42%) comes from APAC, with Japan and China being the most represented Asian countries and South Korea registering a notable presence. US players follow (29%) and European corporates are also expanding their footprint (28%) with France, Germany, UK and Switzerland leading the way. 
  • Corporate presence covers more than 25 industries, with Finance & Banking, Automotive, and Electronics being the most represented (13%, 12% and 11%, respectively). Biotech, Life Sciences, and Pharma follow. 
  • 1 out of 3 is based in San Francisco. The second-largest innovation base is San Jose (14%) followed by Santa Clara county (12%).

“The other underlying trend that we tracked is the increased buy-in of innovation related strategies from top-management. Having a well defined strategy on innovation has escalated the priorities of the top management of major corporations – added Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge – This has in turn increased budgets dedicated to those units, a trend that is evident both for the amount of capital dedicated to CVC -Corporate Venture Capital and the average size of the outpost/innovation units.”

  • Although the R&D Center remains the most frequent type of innovation outpost (124) the current trend is shifting towards leaner structures: CVCs (115), Corporate Innovation Labs (88), and Antennas (78) altogether represent the 70% of total.
  • More than 50% are organized in small teams of less than 10 people, while larger entities represent a relative minority. In total, Silicon Valley registers a workforce of approximately 40-50K innovation professionals from global leaders onsite. 

With 9,188 scaleups that raised over $693B, equalling to a density of 187.5 scaleups for every 100K inhabitants -the highest in the world by far -, Silicon Valley confirms the place to be also for government agencies. The phenomenon is relatively recent, and steadily growing”, added Marinucci and Onetti. 

  • Government presence in California supporting innovation is a global phenomenon attracting representative institutions from countries, regions, and supranational entities such as the European Union.
  • 63 active Government Innovation Outposts representing 39 countries worldwide have been tracked, the vast majority having set foot in Silicon Valley in the last two decades, 
  • Apart from a few outposts (11, 17% of total) whose presence in Silicon Valley dates back to years before 2000, the vast majority of government institutions have set foot in Silicon Valley in the last two decades, about 60% of which after 2010.