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Silicon hopes and dreams

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  • | 11:00 a.m. December 16, 2016
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Business development officials in many Florida locales sometimes refer to their specific market as the “next Silicon Valley,” a hotbed of technology companies that thrive in harmony.

The doubt-meter in the business community often runs high in response to those statements, be it the lack of infrastructure, workforce, colleges or the many other elements that mission requires. But a new report, from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, says Florida might be on to something with its Silicon Valley dreams.

The ITIF is a nonprofit think tank for science and technology policy. Its report examined 20 indicators of an innovation-driven, high-tech economy, from broadband availability to technology product exports, in all 435 U.S. congressional districts, 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“The myopic view that the high-tech economy is only Silicon Valley and a few other bright spots like Boston or North Carolina's Research Triangle is flat wrong,” says ITIF President Robert Atkinson in a statement. “Indeed, all districts in Florida have some kind of tech-driven activity occurring locally.”

Florida made the top 10 among all 50 states in the following categories of the study:
At least 10Mbps broadband coverage, No. 5;
Computer and math share of STEM workers, No. 7;
Computer and math workers, No. 5;
Highly educated immigrant workers, No. 4;
High-tech manufacturing exports, No. 3;
High-tech sector workers, No. 4;
Immigrant share of highly educated workers, No. 4;
IT services exports, No. 9; and
STEM workers, No. 4.


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