Toronto and Vancouver jump in Milken Report

Silicon Valley, the largest and most influential high-tech center in the world, continues to lead all other metropolitan regions in North America in the breadth and scope of economic activity it creates through technological innovation. Hardly a surprise.

Thanks to new report by the Milken Institute, you can see what other metro areas are building strong and diverse industries that are bound to prosper when the economy recovers.

According to the study, which ranks the top high-tech centers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, most of the top tech metros are well known — like Seattle, Cambridge, Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco. But there are many lesser-known regions that have made tremendous inroads in the past decade to build their technology assets, such as Toronto, Canada; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and even Baja California.

The Top 10 rankings for the preeminent high-tech metros in North America:

  1. San Jose–Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  2. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
  3. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA
  4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  5. Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA
  6. Dallas–Plano-Irving, TX
  7. San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA
  8. Santa Ana–Anaheim-Irvine, CA
  9. New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY-NJ
  10. San Francisco–San Mateo-Redwood City, CA

Highlighted and singled-out in the report press release yesterday are two Canadian cities:

Toronto, ON jumped 10 places from 2003, showing impressive gains in building and attracting high-tech businesses in manufacturing and reproducing of optical media, biopharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Vancouver, BC showed the greatest rise among the top-10 metros for software publishing, climbing from 14th place in 2003 to 9th place in 2007.

The Milken report was sponsored, in part, by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. An executive summary, the full report and interactive data tables for all U.S. and Canadian metros and Mexican states, plus breakdowns for 19 separate high-tech industries, are available at www.milkeninstitute.org.