A selection of cities around the world which could be housing the next big thing.
There’s no doubt that the world as we know it is becoming an ever-more connected place as technology increasingly covers and governs much of our everyday lives. The scope of the sector is so large that companies are continuing to evolve and develop new tools and technologies all the time, with knowledge and creation spreading across the globe.
We’ve previously looked at UK cities striving to be the next national tech hub, but where else in the world is innovation striking hardest?
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Recently named as "the most inventive city in the world" by Forbes on account of the sheer number of patents registered in the city (22.6 per 10,000 residents), Eindhoven, with its population of just under 700,000, has quickly grown to become a key focal centre for European technology.
The city, home to the 7,100-strong Eindhoven University of Technology, consistently ranked among the world’s ten best-performing research universities, has also consistently been ranked highly amongst the world’s most intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum lifestyle index, and took the top spot in 2011.
All of this combines to make Eindhoven a hotbed for new technology knowledge, with start-ups such as leading 3D printing marketplace Shapeways, interactive education service Gynzy, and real-time advertising platform Flxone.
With costs for establishing costs in the US hitting an all-time high, many North American companies are turning to the neighbour in the north for a solution. Situated just across the border a few hour’s flight away from Silicon Valley, Vancouver has quickly become an attractive proposition for several major corporations recently, including the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Salesforce.com.
As well as featuring local bases for international companies such as IBM, Intel and Broadcom, Vancouver has also proved to be a hotbed for several major start-ups, with dating site PlentyOfFish and social media tool HootSuite both founded in the city.
This has created a large need for highly-skilled employees, with a recent Bloomberg study finding that the US government being inundated by visa applications for workers moving to the city, ultimately being forced to issue them in a lottery format.
The city is also a leader in sustainability, harnessing renewable energy sources for much of its power, and has stated it aims to be the "greenest city in the world" by 2020, as well as being one of the global centres for fuel cell technology, a sector set to take off as electric cars in particular become more widespread.
Canada’s eighth-largest city consistently ranks highly in worldwide desirability stakes, at it seems this reputation is now rubbing off onto technology companies too.
Like Eindhoven, Malmö ranked highly in Forbes’ recent inventiveness index (with 6.85 patent applications per 10,000 inhabitants), and Sweden’s third-largest city is proving to be a friendly home to technology as well.
Malmo is a young city, with nearly half of its population under the age of 35, a figure boosted by the launch of the city’s university in the eastern Lund region in 1998. It is also very diverse, boasting the highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any city in Sweden, as well as attracting foreign talent and investment.
The city also has a strong start-up community, as it looks to prevent local talent from moving to the more traditional hotspot of Copenhagen just over the border in Denmark. Notable residents include social media tool Flattr, touchless interface company Crunchfish, and Salesforce.com-owned GetSalesDone.