Technology Park: Understand how the space works
Learn about what makes a technological park and how it can contribute to business and human development.
The need for evolution was always a huge part of the human soul. In fact, that can be said about the whole of nature itself, not only related to men. Therefore, its effects keep pushing forward this avid hunger for development, and the materialized idea of a science and technology park results from our non-stopping goal to evolve, individually and collectively, continuously.
But how does a technology park work? How can it translate this aspect of evolution and why have such places been chosen as the homes for growing multinational companies and startups worldwide? Let’s talk about that!
What is a technology park?
According to IASP (International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation), ”a science park is an organisation managed by specialised professionals, whose main aim is to increase the wealth of its community by promoting the culture of innovation and the competitiveness of its associated businesses and knowledge-based institutions”. Its functioning is generally forged by the triple helix collaboration, which consists of three main actors: industry, government and academia.
Science Park x Tech Park
“But is a science park the same thing as a tech park?”, you might ask. And the answer is yes. The two concepts cannot be dissociated, also according to IASP. In addition to that, the acronym STP stands for Science and Technology Park, and it’s been used for these two expressions among others like “technopole” and “research park”.
The only thing that might differ between the two is that while a science park is generally of reduced size and very related to universities with little emphasis on manufacturing activities, a tech park is medium-sized or big and allows for productive activities.
Why were the parks created?
Recalling what we were just talking about evolution, as stated by VILLÀ, Pere Condom (2008) , “science parks are an evolution of industrial concentrations started in Britain in the wake of the industrial revolution”.
Also according to Villà, “the idea of concentrating companies in one single area became increasingly important there in the mid-20th century, during World War II. Shortly after, American companies, aware that science had made a vital contribution to victory (atomic energy, radar, aeronautical developments etc.), approached universities. This is how the first science parks came about around Stanford University in California – Menlo Park and Stanford Science Park, both created towards 1950. New proposals soon came up all over the United States”. Today, there are plenty of technological parks spread across the world, in the UK, Spain, France, India, Brazil and the UAE (such as Sharjah Innovation Park), for instance.
The threshold between industrial districts and technology parks is defined by the innovation oriented management of the latter, establishing ideas for the integration of companies, research institutions and universities, not to mention strategies to stimulate competitiveness and collaboration among the businesses, in order to push their own boundaries.
The main goal of the parks is to provide an environment that will get together tech-related companies of all sorts at the same location, accommodating co-working and hi-tech office spaces, startups, research labs and fostering their growth, by nurturing them with top quality facilities.
As we were saying before, the operations of a technology park depend on the holistic efforts of the triple helix collaboration. With that put, it’s worth mentioning that when the USA noticed an opportunity to bring industry and academia together, the government also had interest in being a part of that, in order to promote better quality of life to its citizens, since “technology parks are also often perceived as contributing to national economic development, stimulating the formation of new high-technology firms, attracting foreign investment and promoting exports”, according to Roger W. Caves, in his book Encyclopedia of the City.
Why a technology park is an interesting idea for business development
Grounded to its purpose of evolution and innovation, a tech park will inherently work to best serve the tenant businesses located within its complex by providing the ideal and most suited infrastructure to entrepreneurs, making living and working two sides of the same coin, in terms of comfort. It is worth mentioning that some of them are even located in free zones.
So, here are a few reasons why a company should look for a technology park when it comes to business development:
- Highest quality equipment and facilities;
- Networking opportunities with top players of the tech market;
- Non-stopping innovation mindset, focused on business.
As a bulging part of the “knowledge economy” and since the results obtained in the park interest all three majors stakeholders sectors (industries, government and academia), there is plenty of motivation to make it work, such as:
The evolution of technology
As tech enthusiasts, all the ones involved in establishing a science and technology park aim for the never ending evolution of technology, in general.
Intellectual and financial efforts are made in order to enable businesses to thrive in their missions.
The attraction of investment
It is well known that money generates money, and it is also recognizable that technology is a very profitable field, since human beings have a strong need for evolution, much like we were talking before. That said, promoting a proper environment that enables companies to flourish and become more valuable is naturally one of the main goals of the triple helix.
By attracting investments and, therefore, companies, a technology park also generates jobs.
A working population leads to more purchasing power, which directly leads the State to develop a good economic condition. This alone could be a solid reason for governments to invest in such projects.
Technological parks are not the future. They are reality. And understanding this is the first step to start seeing the big picture behind the concept of the evolution of technology and business development.
As we mentioned before, the UAE is one of the exponents of MENA, when it comes to technology parks, and Sharjah Innovation Park emerges as a top of mind solution in that matter.
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