The Economist has a recent article about the agglomeration economies experienced by high-tech firms as they gravitate to certain geographic centres. The article refers to "Clusterluck".
DISTANCE is not dead. In biotechnology, as in other tech-based industries, the clustering of similar firms is more important than ever. Some American biotech startups are based in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley area, huddled with its many digital and IT startups. But the Boston metropolitan area—and in particular Cambridge, across the Charles river from central Boston—seems to be holding its own as the world’s pre-eminent biotech hub.
Clusterluck... a nice term. ;)
Obviously the article focuses on Boston and Cambridge. But there is another geographic locale that deserves mention: London.
London, Ontario, that is. The digital and hi-tech firms in London, Ontario, have been growing in unprecedented number and size over the past few years. Some have located in former churches, restaurants, and factories, putting in pretty impressive digs for the employees. Others are building new space from the ground up. And London is just one place this is happening. Another is the long-time computing centre of Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo.
One thing that makes London, Ontario, so attractive is the comparatively low cost of living here. Housing is inexpensive (especially compared with Silicon Valley and Boston in the US and Vancouvre or Trono in Canada), and that means people are willing to work for less here, making the firms more-than-competitive internationally. And of course, while the lower international price of the Loonie makes imports of fruits and vegetables more expensive here, it also makes the output produced here much easier to market internationally.