The Lure of the Northern Star: Is Vancouver, Canada the next destination for Seattle and Silicon Valley Firms and Talent?

Authors: Kathrine Richardson*, San Jose State University
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Canada
Keywords: Knowledge Economy, R&D locations, Talent
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Over the past several years, leading Seattle, Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay area firms, such as Microsoft,, Tableau, Facebook, Oracle, and Pixar have established Research and Development (R&D) offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada by moving critical activities and operations that historically only took place within the greater Seattle area and Silicon Valley/greater San Francisco. Initial reasons cited for these firm migrations include that Vancouver, B.C., and Canada in general, are not only open to “Star” scientists and engineers, but are also able to facilitate the attraction and retention of entire teams of foreign professionals over the long term. This study will begin to document and further analyze why these firms moved critical R&D operations from Seattle and California to Vancouver, and whether or not this firm R&D location strategy is sustainable over the long-term.

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