The U.S. technology sector continues to grow rapidly, driving the nation’s innovation and overall economic growth. However, advanced technology companies are increasingly concentrated in only a few very high-cost metro hubs, such as Silicon Valley, Boston, and Seattle—creating a “winner-take-most” dynamic. The result is not only increasing regional inequality and lost opportunity in the heartland but reduced U.S. competitiveness.
It’s time for the federal government to take aggressive steps to counter the epidemic of regional division and avoid ceding its innovation lead to China. Congress should establish a major new initiative to select a set of promising metro areas to receive a major package of federal innovation inputs and supports that would help these areas accelerate, transform, and scale up their innovation sectors.