“Look, guys, for thousands of years, guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us. But now, for the first time, we’re living in an era, where we can be in charge and build empires. We could be the Vikings of our day.” Says Richard to his tech savvy friends in one HBO’s Silicon Valley episodes. This is basically what springs to mind when I think about Silicon Valley, a bunch of nerds building a company, but it goes beyond the technology we use in our daily life, as Paul Graham (the founder of Y Combinator) says:
“What it takes is the right people. If you could get the right ten thousand people to move from
Silicon Valley to Buffalo, Buffalo would become Silicon Valley.”
It is not about “Silicon Valley”, but the things the valley can offer. It provides access to
high-quality engineers and entrepreneurs, a risk-taking culture, venture capitalists and most
importantly outstanding universities.
We’ve all seen the cliche of the new Silicon Valley in the headlines whenever there are plans of a tech hub or an increase in job growth somewhere. What most people miss when it comes to being the “new valley” is there are no University of California and no Stanford in per se, Buffalo. Those two schools graduate reams of qualified tech enthusiastic and entrepreneurs combined with the valley’s culture of giving up the normal career path and start a high-growth startup. It is a tough recipe to recreate but not impossible.
All you need are the people, investors and great universities. Universities serve as a great
magnet for both smart people and funders, you can’t find technology hubs anywhere in the world
without first-rate universities nearby. Setting up incubator spaces and startup seed funds isn’t
enough without a direct involvement and collaboration with universities and research funding.
Tackling the general lack of understanding of the public about funding research and what it does
for the country has never been more demanding. The more sponsored funding universities and
individual researchers receive is still very limited, the deeper sources of the problem lie in the
incentive structure of the modern research. Programs such as Almadar Aljadeed funding for
bachelor and masters research and IoT contest, initiatives like Enjazi that aims to empower
entrepreneurial spirits are a great push in the direction of a knowledge based economy but to
really lie foundations of that economy, research funding has to be your cornerstone strategy.
By sponsoring research, you focus on cultivating research community that
works on solving real problems by creating excellent innovative products and services.
Investment, job opportunities and economic returns will automatically follow alongside solid
researched prototypes instead of wishful ideas that don’t stand a chance in real market.
Universities offer high promise, by funding them to access different fields, you are directly
swaying change and gaining access to an enormous pool of talent and skills.
Designing processes that integrate this research base with existing and emerging markets, we
can establish sustainable knowledge based economy that can excel in an increasingly complex