The growing popularity of global technology hubs

Technological hubs have become pivotal for fostering innovation and development within businesses. Amid the increasing competition level in the commercial real estate market, the companies are extensively looking for ways to create their mark. Their numbers and roles have expanded rapidly, in tandem with the growth of the digital economy where innovation is a crucial differentiator. In 2019, the global spend on research and development reached a whopping USD 1.7 trillion, with tech companies leading the way.

Technology labs, also regarded as hubs, incubators, and accelerators, are setting the pace when it comes to nurturing innovations globally. At present, majority of the large-scale corporations have their own in-house innovation labs. Globally, such hubs comprise of a large start-up community, established corporations, easy access to active investors, top universities or research institutions, and a supportive local government.

In countries such as Europe and America, innovation labs are coming up in mixed-use hubs. These house corporate offices, labs, cafes, studios, accelerators, and even co-working spaces-all intermingled in the same space. However, owing to strict land-use policies in India, an innovation hub cannot be created in residential, commercial or manufacturing areas. These are specifically located in the institutional areas.

The Indian corporates, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups are increasingly feeling the need to step on the innovation ladder to stay competitive in the global environment. To fulfil the need, standalone innovation hubs in institutional areas are being developed to cater to the needs of independent corporate labs, smaller companies and start-ups across India. The development of these hubs is being witnessed as the answer to the ever-increasing requirement for R&D, innovation and training. These hubs help create a motivating work environment, where businesses can learn from each other, create synergies, make connections, develop new skills, and get inspired to reach the next level.

In cases where an R&D centre or innovation lab is part of a bigger setup, integrated within the parent HQ, the companies prefer to be housed in commercial areas. However, as standalone entities, they cannot be established in commercial areas or even in Software Technology Parks (STP’s) for that matter. Commercial spaces in cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad are usually preferred by large corporations for setting up their corporate office’s cum-R&D operations.

Gurgaon is already touted as the retail innovation hub of India and is now gearing up to be the innovation hub for technology as well. There are over 2,156 start-ups based in the city, out of which, 18 percent belong to the retail segment. Overall, investment in retail start-ups is pegged at about USD 961 million.

Creative hubs-from planned neighbourhoods to contained communities are providing a conducive working environment to both large corporations and start-ups. There are several instances wherein, the inventions have resulted from the cross-pollination of ideas from one industry to another.

If you belong to a large corporation who has not yet launched a creative office away from the day-to-day working of the business, you might want to consider doing it now. On the contrary, if you are a start-up seeking for an uplifting, positive and supportive cross-sector work environment that can provide mental nutrition, along with access to valuable connections, you should investigate innovation hubs – established or those in the making.

Satya Priya Yadav
CEO, e-novation Centre

Publication Source: 99acres