I-95n Exit 13 in MA To: University Ave, (in Norwood) No Services, and Rt 128
OK Road Trippers, consider this: while tech in California tends to come from start ups, in Massachusetts, a lot of innovation is created by long established companies like Raytheon or General Electric or IBM. Often it is funded by the Department of Defense. Just because the entities are huge, their tech makes the innovation no less imaginative, useful, or disruptive.
Underneath and alongside I-95 runs Massachusetts Route 128. Like I-95, Route 128 makes more than a 180-degree arc around Boston. The area along the western part of Route 128 is home to a number of high tech divisions. This part of Route 128 is even signed as "America's Technology Highway” and “America’s Tech Region”.
Silicon Valley and Route 128 are two of the premiere technological concentrations, not only in the United States, but in the world. Like Silicon Valley, the development of electronics-related companies on the 65-mile highway surrounding Boston and Cambridge was influenced by the area's major research universities. In Silicon Valley it was Stanford and UC Berkley. Here it is MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Boston College, Brown University, Brandeis, and hundreds of other academic institutions.
The professors and grad students in the universities devote their energies toward a greater understanding of the world around them. The government, particularly the Defense Department and the National Science Foundation, provides the financial support for the academicians to perform the experiments. The firms would then produce the physical manifestations of these ideas for the marketplace. Think knee replacements, medical devices, and robots.
On major distinction between Silicon Valley and Route 128 is that much tech here is devoted to military uses. One local example: Waltham based Raytheon creates drones and drone technology as well as the brains for smart bombs and cruise missiles. Such innovations are used to fight our country's wars. Not exactly Twitter or Facebook but it is essential tech nonetheless!
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