Silicon Valley Ecuador
The “City of Knowledge” in Ecuador could become the next Silicon Valley according to an article published in Agencia Pública de Noticias del Ecuador y Suramérica (Andes).
In the midst of the tropical South American country rises “Yachai”, the City of Knowledge. If everything goes according to plan, Yachai should have little to envy its American counterpart, the Silicon Valley.
Imagine the year 2023. Things have changed in the world of technology, and I am not only speaking of manually operated motor vehicles being displaced by cars driving on autopilot. Asian, American and European companies are still producing many of the most important innovations in the world, from energy efficiency and biotechnology to computer science and consumer electronics, and the majority of those products are still manufactured in China.
But also came along a new industry player that, a decade earlier, no one could have envisioned would have an impact.
It is in this particular context that a small amount of technological breakthroughs were born and brought to market, all originating from a tiny but lively country cornered between the Pacific and the Amazon: Ecuador.
Today, scientists and researchers are gathering in this Latin American Silicon Valley, with the intent of bringing medications to life, within walking distance of the remarkably diverse Amazon rainforest, which also provides abundant material for the development of breakthrough solar cell and petrochemical technologies. Software and hardware designers take advantage of a business incubator that, combined with the adjacent industrial park, helps them bring their new ideas to fruition without the need for long back and forth journeys to Asian factories.
This grandiose vision represents a dream for this rapidly developing nation of 15 million people. Since assuming power in 2007, the socialist government of Ecuador, led by economist Rafael Correa – who studied in the U.S. and in Europe, has been investing compulsively: modernization of roads, investment in schools, but also increased internet deployment, among other projects. And all of this is happening at a blinding speed.
But perhaps the most ambitious project to date is the newborn Yachay, located in the northern highlands of Ecuador. The planned “City of Knowledge” summarizes the hopes of the Correa administration: to someday compete and collaborate with Silicon Valley, South Korea, Japan, and all other major innovation centers around the world.
The imaginary Yachay is not only the destination for great creative thinkers, movers and shakers, but also for tourists. Imagine a meeting place between the city of Palo Alto, California (Silicon Valley) and Dubai: a logical stop-over, more so even than the Galapagos islands, the Amazon or the Andes.
Take a look at this promotional video about Yachay from the Ecuadorian government. The real description of the project starts at minute 2:55.