Creating new environments favourable to innovation
PERE CONDOM VILÀ JOSEP LLACH PAGÈS
A science park has two main objectives. The first is to act as a catalyst for regional economic development, while the second relates to facilitating the creation and development of new technology-based companies and knowledge transfer from universities to companies.
Strategies for innovation
Parks as a concept
Science parks are an evolution of industrial concentrations started in Britain in the wake of industrial revolution. An example of such concentrations is Trafford Park Industrial Estate in Manchester, connected with the sea through a canal during years. This area was the largest industrial area of the world in the early 20th century and its activity reached its peak during World War II. Its relevance only declined during the industrial crisis of the 1970s, although it seems to come to new life now.
the 1980s, the British government asked universities to be more geared and close to the industry. This pressure led to a second wave of parks. Growth continued during the 1990s and by then, more than half the universities already had some kind of agreement or collaboration with science parks. In France, the most significant is Sofia-Antipolis, created around 1970. The first parks in Italy and Germany started in the early 1980s, concretely the Area Science Park in Trieste and the Technologiepark in Heidelberg. In Spain, the concept did not arrive until the second half of the 1980s. The first initiative was the Bilbao Technology Park, created in 1985. By 1992 eight technology parks had come up in Spain, among which the Vallès Technology Park. Differently from other European countries, the first parks in Spain were not created out of universities. It was not until the 1990s that academic institutions showed a clear interest for this matter, with a wave of initiatives coming after 1996, when the Barcelona... [continues]
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