Edited by Koen Frenken
Chapter 3: Sophia-Antipolis as a ‘Reverse’ Science Park: From Exogenous to Endogenous Development
Michel Quéré 1. INTRODUCTION The Sophia-Antipolis science park is often presented in the media as a European model of science park development. There are obvious reasons for that, especially because of the historical background of the experiment. The park started from scratch in the 1970s and reached an impressive stage of accumulation whereby more than 25 000 jobs are now in existence on site. We shall argue that the park constituted a unique experiment due to the fact it has to be considered as a ‘reverse’ science park as the university and research institutions joined the park only at a later stage. A related feature of the park holds that for a long time its development has drawn on exogenous sources. Only recently have some developments become truly endogenous, rendering the success of the park more complicated to assess. Section 2 will discuss the historical patterns characterising the SophiaAntipolis project. From these background conditions, Section 3 explores a more speciﬁc issue, which is the capability of that project to transform itself into a real science park project, encouraging and beneﬁting from local entrepreneurial initiatives. Section 4 deals with a general discussion about that transformation, with a speciﬁc insistence on governance issues and more in particular with a discussion about how innovation opportunities progressively emerge locally. Section 5 focuses on innovative behaviours arising from local interactive learning in information and communication technology (ICT) activities, in accordance with either the type of ﬁrms involved in these processes or...
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