Key Issues: Science & Innovation

The Bay Area’s knowledge-based economy has been the world’s premier innovation center for the past 60 years. Almost two-thirds of its workforce is engaged in knowledge-related positions, and innovation-related jobs represent a larger share of jobs in the Bay Area than anywhere else in the nation.

The Bay Area benefits from the nation’s largest concentration of basic and applied research facilities: five leading research universities, five national laboratories, and numerous private and independent research laboratories and organizations. These institutions are a magnet for research investment and human capital, and are central to the region’s track record of successful innovation.

One in every six Bay Area residents holds a graduate or professional degree, and the region’s skilled and diversified workforce sustains its fast pace of technology development and commercialization. The Bay Area is closely identified with entrepreneurship, and its many highly educated immigrants have played and continue to play an important role in supporting the region’s innovation engine; 52% of Silicon Valley companies have reported that their key founders were immigrants.

One measure of the region’s innovation output is patents. The Bay Area generates 15% of all U.S. patents—more than double the number of the next largest region, New York.

The Bay Area: A Global Marketplace of Ideas

Bay Area Science & Innovation Consortium

BASIC, the Bay Area Science & Innovation Consortium ( is an organization of the Bay Area’s leading research and innovation companies and institutions. Its participants include public and private universities, national laboratories, and leading private sector companies. Bringing together the university technologists, laboratory directors, CEOs and CTOs who lead the region’s world renowned research organizations, BASIC’s mission is to advance the science, technology and innovation leadership of the Bay Area. Managed by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, this unique multi-sector collaboration provides a platform through which the Bay Area’s science and innovation community identifies and addresses issues and opportunities impacting the region’s innovation leadership and its role as the world’s leading marketplace for ideas.