Myths, Visions and Realities
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 6: Science Parks: Changing Roles and Changing Approaches in their Evaluation
Marina van Geenhuizen, Danny P. Soetanto and Victor Scholten SETTING THE SCENE The role of science parks in attracting and breeding high-technology firms is recognized at the European policy level, and the aim a few years ago was to increase average practice towards the best (EU Independent Expert Group on R&D and Innovation, 2006; EC, 2008). Science parks have a long history. There was a fast growth of science parks in the US and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, and this has inspired policy-makers to adopt science parks as a policy tool in continental Europe, such as in Germany, Sweden, France and the Netherlands, and more recently in Southern Europe, for example Spain, Portugal and Greece, and Eastern Europe (Durão et al., 2005; Sofouli and Vonortas, 2007; Ratino and Henriques, 2010). Since the early 1980s, Asian governments started to adopt science parks, such as in Taiwan and Singapore (Lee and Yang, 2000; Lai and Shyu, 2005; Koh et al., 2005). With this growing adoption, science parks have become more diverse in aim and practice, for example, concerning the type of target firms, the set of facilities and the stakeholders involved. Policy-makers tend to see science parks as highly effective instruments in enhancing knowledge-based regional growth. The creation of new jobs and of new high-technology firms, and the revitalization of the local and regional economy are among the positive impacts. In addition, the networks based on proximity are seen as supporting the innovative power of on-site firms...
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