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Where is the Philippines’ Silicon Valley?

Where should the Philippines build its Silicon Valley environment, asks Dennis Posadas, who is affiliated with the PESO Challenge.

He asserts:

If the Philippines is to reap the benefits of economic growth from technology entrepreneurship, it must build its Silicon Valley-type environment. This environment will encourage frequent networking and social interaction between the academe, venture capitalists and angels, returnee scientists and technopreneurs.

Then he talks about the characteristics of a “Silicon Valley” location, and his candidate locations.

Many in both the public and private sectors have been planning and working on this. I hope things fall into place.

What are your picks?

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  • the fort has lots of space, Libis is too out of the way and too crowded, theres also this place by Alabang, North Cybergate or something. Though I would have to say at home 🙂 Office space is too expensive 🙂

  • With the overcrowding and unnecessary over-centralization of everything in Metro Manila, I doubt that there’s any space here to satisfy his four criteria for a Philippine Silicon Valley.

    But he does name a few good candidates. I’d put my money on Alabang (malapit kasi sa amin. hehe) or Cebu.

    I would think that the only way to really build a local Silicon Valley is to build everything from the ground up. Although there are many candidate places that meet some of the four criteria, trying to reshape current locations into something that would look like Silicon Valley would not be feasible. Building a culture of academics and research in commercial areas is not feasible, and neither is commercializing areas of R&D.

    At sa palagay ko, Cebu is the best place to build everything from the ground up. Not only would we have a relatively clean slate to start with, sabi nga niya na Cebu’s actively working to become the local Silicon Valley.

  • I would suggest Laguna would be the prime location for this. If someone can actually develop the areas around the University of the Philippines Los Banos (up to the neighboring towns like Bay and Calamba) then it can really become something like Silicon Valley.

    But the effort has to come from somewhere. If one sector does not cooperate, it’s bound to fail.

  • How about Clark Special Economic Zone ?

  • sylver

    I think it should be sa Alabang Cyberzone (kasi dun ako nagwork).Kidding aside, all the buildings here are using hi-tech equipments. Also in Cebu near mactan airport or the area where you can find etel and people support.

  • Krakista

    >>Though I would have to say at home

    @Andre: That’s the best answer. It’s best to work with what you have. And a home not far from an MRT or LRT station is the best place to be these days. Hopefully, the best places extends to homes near bike lanes in the near future. The Silicon Valley I have in mind is decentralized and navigable by a combination of trains and legwork.

    The other answers show a lack of entrepreneurial zeal and seems bent on helping the oil companies and big real estate companies make more, more, more money. You should start thinking about making more, more, more money for yourselves. 🙂

    Gas is projected to hit P50/liter soon. So the next big thing could be foldable bikes.

  • I’d go for Clark SEZ. Metro Manila’s congested road traffic and real estate will not fit well for a Philippine Silicon Valley. Given efficient highway and rail links between Clark and north and south Metro Manila, Clark is a good candidate.

  • Taguig, Quezon City, got lots of idle land where you don’t have rallies to mess up with businesses 🙂 Of course there’s our real valley called marikina but then again it gets flooded.

    Laguna sounds nice but that’t too far. Clark would be great if you got a bullet train from manila, or a trans-manila bay bridge which connects cavite and laguna to the north without going through manila 🙂

  • [c]hicken [g]od

    I would be tagged as a biased commentator if I say that it should be in Alabang (yes, I live nearby) Then again after talking with some people there are several factors which actually hinder companies from moving towards south. Reason one is that the workforce are mostly coming from the north; Secondly, there is a supposed bandwidth problem in Northgate Cyberzone; Third, A lack of urban planning for the surrounding area. I dount the the latter can be corrected (unless you want to reach the next corner by travelling a better distance than originally intended, think MMDA traffic routing) I’d say set a local silicon valley somewhere south where all the grunt work can be done and have corporate duke it out here in the capital. Of course, YMMV.

  • riche

    am from dumaguete, working now here in los banos inside uplb campus…mali kayong lahat…it should be dumaguete…clean, nice surroundings, robust fiber optics network. isn’t it about time the world notices dumaguete?…

  • riche

    dumaguete already has spi technologies and teletech, some medical transcription businesses, and other outsourcing outfits are operating from within the city of gentle people. hey, it’s time you take a look at the best IT location in the country…

  • riche

    read about dumaguete at the website of philippine business magazine, a publication of the makati business club. all the facts are there…as far as i know, dumaguete has more bandwidth than bangalore, india, thanks to most telecom firms in the country which made dumaguete as one of their landing sites. it has globelines, pldt, telecphil, eastern telecom, bayantel, etc. it has quadruple-redundant connectivity, out of the country’s typhoon belt, and hosts some of the country’s best universities. fact is, it has the highest hiring rate for callcenters in the philippines. and it is clean, crime rate is very low, it has abundant supply of power and other raw materials. so what can you ask for? economies of scale? let’s forget about it for a while. let all the technology people pitch their tents in dumaguete, and you will see the blooming of the country’s upcoming silicon valley. it actually has the same situation as stanford university when silicon valley started. is it a mere coincidence that stanford, if abbreviated, is SU. and dumaguete also hosts SU – Silliman University? so when you talk about dumaguete IT, it is about people and bandwidth. and you got the ideal IT hub of the philippines…

  • riche

    i have read the article of dennis posadas on itmatters.com.ph…too bad, he didn’t even consider dumaguete as one of the possible sites where a silicon-valley type environment can be set up. didn’t he know that before peso challenge was put up there was already the negros oriental innovation awards, which produced the san francisco, california business competition winner ‘buhi international’. dumaguete is just perfect for such an undertaking as its level of development is not yet that high, and there is plenty of room to do a lot of things ideally. besides, it has plenty of bandwidth and the human resources to support a silicon valley-type environment.

  • All these discussion are nonesense unless people are willing to work for it.
    1. We need to create a critical mass of Engineers.
    2. We need to set up a national IC research center similar to Beijing,China, Hinschu, Taiwan, HCM, Vietnam.
    3. In these national centers, we need the neccessary tools use by the industry.
    And Dedicated people who will train and not abandone the center for a lucrative job offer in the industry.
    4. Our academe need to be ready to absorb new technology and dedication to pursue and work with industry, not expecting industry to support academe.
    5. Gov’t should listen to our Balik-scientist and help them provide opportunity to fully use their potential. Otherwise, they end-up as sayang-tist.
    6.Crab mentality should be avoided.

    Without the above action, we’ll just keep on dreaming. and start learning to speak vietnamese.

  • Philippine Silicon Valley is still in our Dream, whereas our neighbor is already on its way.

    Renesas Design Vietnam Selects Synopsys as its EDA Provider for SoC Design

    Synopsys’ Galaxyâ„¢ Design and Discoveryâ„¢ Verification Platforms and DesignWare® IP to Accelerate SoC Development

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 13, 2006 – Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNPS), a world leader in semiconductor design software, today announced that Renesas Design Vietnam Co. (RVC), Ltd, a system LSI semiconductor design subsidiary of the leading microcontroller supplier Renesas Technology Corp., has chosen Synopsys as its electronic design automation (EDA) provider for system-on-chip (SoC) design. RVC will use Synopsys’ Galaxyâ„¢ Design and Discoveryâ„¢ Verification Platforms, as well as Synopsys’ DesignWare® Library intellectual property (IP), to speed development of SoCs for Renesas’ SH-Mobile application processors used in mobile phones and consumer electronics products.

    “We have used Synopsys solutions worldwide with great success for our design activities to develop and implement SoCs for mobile, automotive and PC/audio-visual applications,” said Mr. Tsuneo Sato, president and CEO at Renesas Design Vietnam Co., Ltd. “Synopsys’ complete RTL-to-GDSII flows and proven IP deliver the performance and productivity we need for our advanced SoC designs. Synopsys is an important partner for the design and implementation of SoCs for a wide range of products.”

    “Renesas Vietnam adopted Synopsys’ solutions to address their design challenges because they require the highest-quality tools and IP for their SoCs,” said Geok-Cheng Tan, director of Area Sales at Synopsys. “We support Vietnam’s talented engineers and are committed to helping Vietnam grow as a technology leader.”

    “It’s gratifying to have RVC, a design subsidiary of a world-class semiconductor manufacturer such as Renesas Technology, choose Synopsys as its EDA provider,” said Howard Ko, vice president of Asia Pacific Sales at Synopsys. “We’ve enjoyed a close working relationship with Renesas Technology at many of its worldwide facilities and look forward to helping them develop SoCs for the burgeoning electronics market in Vietnam. We will continue to work with Renesas Technology to ensure predictable success for their SoC designs.”

    Qualcomm funds chipset research in Vietnam
    11:13′ 13/11/2006 (GMT+7)

    VietNamNet Bridge – The world’s leading company in chipset and CDMA technology, Qualcomm, has agreed to partly fund and send its experts to Vietnam to sharer technology with its Vietnamese partner.

    The Vietnamese partner is the Centre for Chipset Research and Design Training under the HCM City-based National University.

    The US Synopsys Company, one of the world’s top companies on software supporting chip design will also provide free Synopsys software, worth around $1 million, for the center to perform its pilot project on chipset design.

    The Centre for Chipset Research and Design Training is the first unit in Vietnam that is set up to promote chipset design. It is carrying out a project on researching and designing IP core for RISC 8 bit SignaK3 Chip with the assistance of Qualcomm, Synopsys, and some other local and foreign investors. The center plans to export intellectual property (IP) of this product to the world.

    Bui Man Hai, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, said that local and foreign firms assisting the center in chipset research and design is very meaningful, particularly when Vietnam has joined the WTO.

    Vietnam now lacks human resources for its chipset designing industry. The Renesas Vietnam Company needs up to 1,000 engineers from now to 2020 but it can recruit only 100.

    The Centre for Chipset Research and Design Training will open chipset designer training courses in the near future to meet the needs of the market.

    Thu Huong

    US firm gives software for City design centre

    VNECONOMY updated: 14/11/2006

    The US-based semiconductor design company Synopsys donated US$1 million worth of software to the IC Design, Research and Education Centre (ICDREC) in HCM City last Friday.

    The donation will go towards ICDREC’s pilot software design project to establish a group of digital IC (integrated circuit) design experts to build the first 8-bit Risc chip family IP core in Viet Nam.

    Other sponsors for the project officially announced last Friday include Qualcomm, Vmicro semiconductor company and Global Cybersoft Viet Nam.

    Established by the Viet Nam National University of HCM City in late 2005, ICDREC, the first IC research centre of its kind in Viet Nam, aims to improve human resource development, research and technological development in the IC industry.

    Synopsys Singapore Ltd.’s Executive Account Manager, Darence Tan Kim Soon, said that Synopsys decided to invest in the pilot project located in HCM City as the city accounts for 70 per cent of the total hardware transactions and 60 per cent of the total software transactions in all of Viet Nam.

    “Most importantly,” he said, “HCM City has a very young labour force that is highly disciplined and qualified in new technology absorption. They are well supported by solid infrastructure and good institutions such as the National University in HCM City.”

    “IC design is one of the key industries in the economic development of developed countries such as the US and Japan,” said Huynh Thanh Dat, deputy director of HCM City National University.

    He also said that the development of the semiconductor industry hosts an increasing demand for human resources, for which the ICDREC was established.

    He added that ICDREC plans to recruit and train electronics and telecommunications students from Vietnamese universities to become IC design experts.

  • Right, at home… where the Pinoy Web 2.0 startups are coming from!

  • dapat lagyan din ng mga semicon processing zone ang mga probinsiya hindi na lang lahat sa manila

  • rakeshibow

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  • Ryan

    The concept of Silicon Valley in the Philippines is nice and all but we need to cure THREE fundamental problems in our IT industry first. First the brain drain, highly skilled professionals leaving for other countries because businesses there offer better pay and a better life. Second, the difficulty for startups to flourish because of all the red tape in our government – well even established companies have some trouble getting in because of this. Third, our IT solutions should be focused more on developing solutions to help the industries of other sectors like agriculture and our local businesses rather then making the Philippines an “outsource” hub to solve the problems of other international companies and organizations.

  • How about Tagaytay? 🙂 It should be not in crowded metropolitan places. Also, it would be better is actually on a valley.

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