Category: North America
TO THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT
The majority of the large companies have their headquarters in the industrial belt from San Jose via Sunnyvale to Palo Alto, the location of Stanford University. The combination of various factors was decisive for the development of Silicon Valley into an information technology cluster. Stanford University and its then Vice-President Frederick Terman played a central role as early as the 1930s, encouraging his students to become entrepreneurs and, in addition to land, also providing capital for the establishment of businesses. An example of this is the founding of the Hewlett-Packard company by the students of the same name in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939. The establishment of the Stanford Research Park as an interface between research and production in 1951 also goes back to the initiative of Frederick Terman. This resulted in important impulses for the development of the electronics industry in Silicon Valley. Typical were and still are constant start-ups and spin-offs from the university and existing companies, so-called spin-offs (for example the development of semiconductor technology by Nobel laureate WB Shockley and the founding of the Fairchild Semiconductor company in 1957).
State research and development activities still play an important role today. The rise of Silicon Valley was decisively facilitated by the US government by awarding lucrative contracts to the defense and space industry, which has a location focus in California. This leads to a strong demand for specialized and innovative electronic and software products, which can be served in an ideal way by the constantly emerging and highly flexible small businesses.
CHANGE IN SILICON VALLEY
One of the strategic tasks of information technology clusters is that they have to maintain a high degree of flexibility and constant willingness to innovate when developing new products in order to secure their economic top position in the long term. That is why Silicon Valley is also subject to constant change. While the production of microchips and computers initially played a major role, the production of mature products in large series has shifted to low-wage regions in the USA or abroad under the pressure of high production costs. While all stages of the value chain were represented in the early days, this increasingly split up in large companies, with the knowledge-intensive tasks (such as development) and customer-specific tasks (such as marketing) remaining in Silicon Valley. For more information about the continent of North America, please check ezinereligion.com.