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Field Updates from Southwestern USA

Japan has long regarded Silicon Valley in California and Cambridge in Massachusetts as the two most significant innovation hotspots in the United States. Certainly, those two regions produced technologies both by Americans and Japanese that have found success around the world. While that characterization of innovation in America is true, it is also incomplete. 

The U.S. Southwest – a vast swathe of land that is defined and unified more by an idea rather than by geography – is positioning itself as a serious rival to those two innovation centers on both coasts. Aside from being a laboratory where emerging technologies are developed, the Southwest is where they are also tested, applied and commercialized. 

Following the success of the 2016 Report on the U.S. Southwest, GMI POST returns to the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada to the cities, companies and people who shared long cultural and business ties with Japan, as well as offer fresh business opportunities investors in the two countries.

As the Japanese government reaffirms its commitment to Society 5.0 initiative – vision for a human-centered society that balances economic progress and social development through the closer integration of physical space and cyberspace – the U.S. Southwest hopes to become an investment destination and an innovation partner for Japanese innovators.

Francis Pacheco and Danelle Ong report from the field. Follow their updates here and here.

Colorado: A mile ahead

Mostly known for its scenic beauty and tourist attractions, Colorado isn’t associated easily as a dynamic center of business. As the U.S. state with the third strongest economy, Colorado wants to publicize its suitability as an investment hub around the world.

Boasting one of the largest startup communities in the United States, Colorado is building a reputation for innovation, particularly in the aerospace, defense and technology sectors.

While Northern California has Silicon Valley, Colorado has “Aerospace Alley,” which the state hopes will overtake California’s technology center in the near future.

“Denver is a small city and is always ready to make new connections especially in the aerospace field. We are ready to show the world what we have to offer and ready to help facilitate the success of our investors” Colorado Air and Space Port Director Dave Ruppel said.

Colorado also wants to be known for its focus on collaboration in building businesses.

"Unlike in the West and East coasts, where the business climate is more competitive, it is different here in Colorado. Even competitors collaborate. That is all part of the regional economic approach that will ensure that the whole state progresses, and not just certain entities,” World Trade Center Denver President and CEO Karen Gerwitz said.

The state is also very proud about its commitment to nurture diversity in business and in the workplace, believing that inclusivity will bring about true advancement.

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