On April 26th, 2018 Oleksandr Krotenko, the Consul of Ukraine in San Francisco, attended the Silicon Valley Briefing
On April 26, 2018, in Menlo Park, California, the Silicon Valley Briefing, organized by the International LDS Business & Civic Association, was held. About 30 San-Francisco based foreign Consuls General and Consuls on economic affairs participated in this event. Consul of Ukraine in San Francisco Oleksandr Krotenko attended the Briefing.
During the event Russell Hancock, the CEO of the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, highlighted the state and trends of California's economic growth. In this context, he said that in 2017 California continued to be the state with the most developed economy in the U.S.A. In particular, the labor force growth in the San Francisco Bay Area reached 3% that contributed to the creation of more than 107,000 new jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate in the Silicon Valley declined to 2.5% last year. Silicon Valley remains the unchanged leader in the average annual income per person (over $130 thousand).
Thanks to the global corporations of the Silicon Valley, the information and technology industry is traditionally dynamically developing. Thus, in 2017, California ranked first in terms of the number of patents registered (over 19,000) and venture capital investors ($25 billion). Under the structure, venture investments were made in the following sectors: software, medical equipment and technology, telecommunications, consumer goods and services, etc.
At the same time, Russell Hancock noted that serious challenges the San Francisco Bay Area (covering the Silicon Valley) faced, primarily due to the extremely high real estate value (the most expensive in the U.S.), the lack of capacity of the transport infrastructure, etc. This leads to the fact that a significant number of local residents (over 40%) who do not work in the Information and Technology sector are ready to change their place of residence and move to other regions of the country with a more affordable standard of living.
Jeffrey Bishop, the "Singulex" Senior Vice-President, informed about the prospects for the development of biotechnology in the field of cardiovascular diseases. In particular, he informed about modern technologies for diagnosis of Troponin's protein in human blood and the possibility of preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Representatives of "Industrial Light & Magic" (Lucas Film) Michael Rich and "Pixar Animation Studios" Jacob Merrell highlighted the innovative technologies used by leading American studios in the field of computer animation and special effects.
Within the framework of the Briefing, the Consul of Ukraine held a series of meetings. In particular, with Cynthia Lee, the Professor of the Stanford University Faculty of Computer Science, he discussed the prospects for launching short-term programs of co-operation between Ukrainian higher education institutions and this leading U.S. research institution (in particular, on students and professors exchange). Professor of the Stanford University expressed interest in the proposed initiative and recommended consulting with the International Center of the Stanford University, which coordinates international partnership programs. At the same time, Cynthia Lee communicated that she participated as a speaker at the ITEM Conference in Ukraine, which took place on March 24-25, 2018 in Kyiv.
With representatives of Waymo companies John Henry and Kitty Hawk Josh Redding, the Consulate of Ukraine discussed the issue of involving Ukrainian IT companies in the implementation of their innovative projects in the field of creating autonomous (unmanned) cars and mini-planes. The speakers noted the high reputation and professionalism of Ukrainian software developers, which they are well known for among the Silicon Valley business circles. In this context, the Engineer of Waymo, which is a part of Google, said that their team already has Ukrainian specialists. Engineer "Kitty Hawk" has promised to consider with the company’s management the issue of the possible outsourcing of a part of the project to Ukraine and inform the Consulate General about the results.
Following the meetings outcomes, an agreement to maintain business contacts with the purpose of working out the prospects for the initiation of cooperation between Ukrainian and American technology companies was reached.