Asian Diaspora and Emergence of Technology Knowledge Hubs of World: The Case of Bangalore and Hsinchu.

Author Name

R. K. Mishra and Prof. V.V. Krishna

Author Address

Centre for Studies in Science Policy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. [email protected]>


Science and Technology, Technology and Diaspora


The role of Asian diaspora on the rise of modern technology knowledge hubs has been studied in the literature (Saxenian 1999, 2006). More specifically, diffusion of software and semiconductors related technology knowledge by returning Indian and Taiwanese diasporic communities from Silicon Valley to other parts of the world has been discussed (ibid). This signifies the discussion of the role of ‘human capital’ on the rise of ‘knowledge-based economy’ and how ‘technology knowledge hubs’ are playing a crucial role in driving innovations. However, returning Indian and Taiwanese engineers and technology entrepreneurs were not the ‘only’ factor in the development of these two technology knowledge hubs. Rather, they became important catalytic actors in the ecosystem supported by a variety of other actors, predominantly governmental policy support, necessary infrastructure and availability of ‘skilled’ human resource. In this process, from the mid-1980s to 1990s, Indians started to relocate in Bangalore with the help of their Indian professional network associations such as TiE[1] and SIPA[1]. Similarly, Taiwanese in Hsinchu started to relocate with the help of professional and academic networks like CIE[1] and METS[1].

The result of this complex network of diasporic entrepreneurs, innovations, and global technology knowledge flow created ideal economic conditions for the growth of the respective technology businesses, i.e. software services in Bangalore and semiconductors manufacturing in Hsinchu. Bangalore grew from US$52 million dollars exports in 1987-88[1] to more than US$108 billion exports as on 2016.[1] Further, in revenue, software and IT knowledge hubs and its role in innovation which mainly started from Bangalore, has increased from 1% of GDP in the 1980s to 9.3% of GDP in 2015, with a further rise of new IT knowledge hubs in India.[1] Further, Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan from the 1980s has grown with 17 firms and NT$30 million to currently 478 firms with more than NT$ 11 billion dollars as on 2015 working in the field of semiconductor and microchip innovations.[1]

So, in this context and background, our objectives for this paper are as follows. First, empirically to explore the 'diasporic' aspect of these two 'technology knowledge hubs’. Second, to explore th essential role and functions of these hubs and how the global flow of ‘human capital’ helps in driving innovations, giving rise to ‘creative’ cities like Bangalore and Hsinchu. Methodologically, the paper would correlate diaspora to ‘human capital’ under the domain of STS. The paper will use a variety of empirical data sources from India, Taiwan, and other international sources.   


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