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Silicon Valley last among US tech hubs

india Updated: Sep 04, 2006 18:39 IST
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Silicon Valley ranks dead last in an annual ranking of 12 US technology hubs because of the region's notoriously high housing costs, traffic congestion, high unemployment rate and other quality-of-life problems.

According to the newest survey by Silicon Valley Leadership Group, America's top-ranked tech hub is North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham area, which enjoys relatively affordable housing and a thriving job market.

Calfornia's Silcon Valley -- defined broadly as the region stretching from San Jose north to San Francisco and Berkeley, as well as corporate suburbs such as Cupertino and Palo Alto -- fared particularly poorly because of its expensive homes.

The valley is one of the few global tech hubs that dominates both the technology and life sciences industries, putting it above international tech hubs such as Basel, Switzerland; Bangalore, India; Prague; Dublin; Berlin; Tokyo; and Shanghai. Only Singapore rivals Silicon Valley in both segments - but the concentration of venture capital and tech companies there is far smaller than in the valley, it said.

The No. 2 American city is Seattle, home to thousands of well-paid technology professionals who work at Microsoft Corp., in suburban Redmond, Washington.

No. 3 was the greater Denver area, which despite a growing number of traffic jams and soaring housing prices is also home to many startups in the emerging alternative energy niche. San Jose-based SVLG ranked its home region last for the second straight year - a dubious distinction considering that last year's list did not include expensive cities such as New York or cities with struggling urban cores such as Philadelphia and Chicago, all of which finished higher than California's Silicon Valley this year.

"These results were a reality check on the challenges we all know we face here in the valley," said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the public policy trade association, which represents more than 200 of regional, private sector employers. "There are seemingly intractable challenges we know won't change over a week or a year."

Despite its dismal finishing, the valley remained dominant in one key metric: It attracts nearly $8 billion (euro6.24 billion) per year in venture funding, four times more than its closest domestic rivals.

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