Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
Chapter 14: Science Parks and High-Tech Clustering
Jan Annerstedt 1 Introduction: science parks and ‘clusters of competencies’ Science parks as instruments for industrial policy have existed for more than half a century, but there is still no general acknowledgment or broad recognition of their potential or real economic impact. Controversies continue to arise around their costeﬀectiveness. Are the typical science parks of today eﬀective platforms for high-tech innovation activity? Why do some science parks reinforce and sustain the competitive performance of the companies and institutions that operate on their premises? How is it that a number of parks fail to reach their main objectives? Many well-documented case studies of science parks and similar, managed innovation environments are available. Some case reports depict major success stories, while others show a range of non-intended consequences. There are few systematic studies of longterm results of science park activity, although there are many hundreds of science parks now operating in locations across the world. Critics claim that most science parks do not reach their ultimate set of goals, but that they rather serve secondary objectives such as attracting inward investment, advancing high-tech infrastructure, creating a vehicle for indirect subsidies or raising property values of their neighbourhoods.1 Thus some science parks have become symbols rather than real catalysts of science–technology–economy relations in a modernizing society.2 Policy interest in science parks declined somewhat in the ﬁrst part of the 1990s. One reason was the ambition in many cities and regions to renew the broader urban structures in which science...
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