What Makes Science Parks Successful?
Science and Technology Parks (STPs) are growing in number at an increasing pace since the 1950s. STPs, and especially the businesses established there, play a crucial role in the progress of science and the economy. Additionally, science parks represent a popular policy intervention to promote the clustering of high-tech industries.
Although, science parks are commonly believed to generate ample benefits for their tenant firms by construction, there is surprisingly little evidence supporting this claim and even less is known with regard to the determinants of these benefits. However, the selection of firms into science parks may have an important impact on the success of the park in fostering firms’ performance and innovation.
The main benefit of being in a science park is that they have good infrastructure, electricity, water, telecommunications, and logistics services for manufacturers. In order to operate, factories need hard infrastructure. Good infrastructure is an investment in order to attract more new industries. For instance, all of our Light Industry & Science Parks have a water treatment plant.
Therefore, what makes a science park successful? Is it solely gauged based on the infrastructure? Here are some key factors in the success of science parks:
A science park has professional management system. It distinguishes itself from a regular business park by the fact that the contacts do not stop once the business moves in, but in fact just begin at that point. Leasing the buildings helps management to control the park and guarantees a future proof development.
Broad Package of Services
The management ensures the businesses located in the park can function optimally by offering a very broad package of services. This can include access to sources of financing, management and marketing advice, development of innovation strategies and networking opportunities among entrepreneurs.
Accessibility of Venture Capital Funding
A science park needs to have access to venture capital funding. The funds that are collected are usually used for diverse purposes. Some of the purposes include: intellectual property enhancement and “freedom to practice” analysis, prototype development and testing, market research and commercial assessment, feasibility studies for production, determination of regulatory and reimbursement pathways, and finally preliminary business plans.
Role of the Government
There is usually a facilitating role reserved for the local government. The local government’s commitment is important and the municipality can play a role in attracting businesses and improving national and international accessibility.