Another theme that is developing at the conference is that technology
innovation is no longer enough to bring success. It has become necessary
to innovate at the business model level as well.
to say how many people Samsung would employ at the Silicon Valley
innovation center. "Budget is not an issue but it is not something that
depends on scale."
Overall Samsung expects to employ several
thousand engineers in Silicon Valley by 2020, but only a small
percentage of these would be in the innovation center. "It's not just
looking at technology, it's looking at business models, collaborations
Sohn argued that this sort of work could not be
done at Samsung's traditional locations which were focused on
manufacturing excellence. Sohn said that business model innovation still
tends to originate in the United States and a few other locations
around the world.
"We're putting it in Sand Hill Road. That's
making a statement," said Sohn. Sand Hill Road is well known for its
concentration of venture capital companies. Samsung already has an
innovation center in Israel Sohn said. He also said that Cambridge in
England could be a suitable location. Samsung now has about 300 staff in Cambridge through the acquisition of the handset connectivity/location development operation of CSR plc.
In terms of the total
number of Samsung innovation centers around the world Sohn estimated it
could be as few five. "There are not that many places around the world
where truly innovative thinking is going on," he said.