Five design Elements for Successful Development of Science Parks

by Jörgen Eriksson on May 12, 2012

Futuroscope science parkAt the moment, May 2012, there are 388 science parks in the world. Almost all of them have been established during the recent 30 years.

Clearly, science parks are an important component in the development of the knowledge economy and thereby sustainable economic growth.

Based on our general experience from many innovation system projects we typically combine a comprehensive set of approaches to create economically, dynamic and environmentally sustainable urban development with elements from ‘Third Generation Innovation Environments’ and general investment strategies. Also, we have benefitted from our systematic insights into R&D and innovation activity in some of the world’s leading-edge labs by our detailed benchmarking exercises at top universities and centers of learning, widely recognized for their educational, training and research facilities.

As a rule of thumb, though with variations from case to case, a conceptual design and implementation strategy of any new sustainable urban area will rest on five major stages. Each of them will be elaborated as ‘design elements’ or ‘success factors’. Ideally, when implemented, the five design elements should overlap and be closely integrated with the area’s overall implementation strategy.

The five steps

Bearing Consulting and our business partners and professionals comprises the practical experiences and special expertise needed to successfully design and help implement a ‘Third Generation Innovation Environment’ by combining the five design elements into a comprehensive strategy. We are ‘doers’ and practitioners at the same time as we have deep analytical insights into the relevant processes of innovation and change.

As a methodology for our work in stage 1, Jan Annerstedt, Senior Advisor to Bearing and also Professor in the Department of Operations Management, at Copenhagen Business School and a Counselor to the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), developed the A3-Model.

Each project takes off by performing an alignment phase. This phase comprises a thorough analysis of all key stake holders’ expectations, motivation factors and core values. Alignments of these fundamental parameters are imperative in order to successfully perform any regional development program.

This phase consists of an alignment work shop which aims for the creation of a unified picture that will become the ground for the following phase of developing of a vision and mission statement. Not until this stage is set can the project embark upon the more practical work with the five design elements and organization.

The organization must clearly define how responsibilities, authorities and motivation factors are linked and interlinked to the synchronized action plans that will follow.

The A3 model

The A3-model is securing an outside – in perspective which optimizes the conditions of lifting the region to an attractive international place for development and investments.

The model also secures the structure, organization, engagement and availability of resources – in both depths an width – necessary to succeed in the creation of an ambitious regional innovation environment. The components of the model are:

· Actors, stake holders and instigators in the system

· Assets, innovation capacity and infrastructure in the system

· Activities and innovation processes

· Governance, management, governing and cultural conditions

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