Theory of science and technology parks. From craft workshop to science and technology parks.

Theory of science and technology parks. From craft workshop to science and technology parks.

Author: Rafael Eloy Montero Gosálbez
Lawyer, MBA, PMP.
Published at n. 111 of the Revista del Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Técnicos Industriales de Alicante (COITIA), pg. 34-45. ISSN 1696-9200.

INTRODUCTION

In the same way that all forms of industrial settlements were innovations themselves at the time, so, the Science and Technology Parks (S&TP) are not only spaces from which to promote a process of technological innovation, but in themselves are also an innovation. They are an innovation from the technological point of view, because the incorporation of new infrastructure and equipment focused on research, but also from a non-technological approach, as involving the introduction of new techniques and social structures, new ways of thinking, acting and communicating. This article reviews the formal evolution of industrial settlement since the First Industrial Revolution to today, and then to focus on the figure of the Science and Technology Parks.
1.1. THE FACTORY

With the arrival of the First Industrial Revolution, the innovation process that exceeds the gild institution and produces a progressive reduction of the weight of the craft as a mode of production, focused on two types of cities, existing large cities, mainly London, but also Berlin or Paris and cities over the area of influence of these, such as Manchester, and were “quintessential laissez-faire”(Castells y Halls, 1994, pg. 209).

This situation resulted in diversity of theoretical and practical approaches in relation to the implementation of industrial activities, including from prosaic factories to social experiments like New Lannark village, or the town of Saltaire, even theoretical revolutionary approaches like Fourier’s Phalanstery (Frampton, 1993).

It is a fact that the way of understanding the implementation of production activities changed. In the words of Joel Mokyr:

“The stylized fact is that the Industrial Revolution of 1760-1830 witnessed the “rise of the factory”. Like all historical “facts” of this kind, it is only an approximation. In reality, there were numerous precedents for large-scale enterprise and for people working in large plants even before the classical Industrial Revolution”.

Even existing precedents, as Max Weber said (quoted by Mokyr, 2001):

“The consequences which accompanied the introduction of the modern factory are extraordinarily far-reaching… workshop industry meant the employment of the worker in a place which was separate both from the dwelling of the consumer and from his own”.

He adds the indication that the joint existence of labor discipline, technical specialization, coordination and strength of mechanical work, along with ownership of the means of production and raw materials in one hand, was something rarely seen until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution.

Mokyr (2001) distinguishes these factories into two different types:

1. First, the “manufactories” a concentration of craftsmen under the same roof, keeping their own way of working, just away from home, structure that gradually lost weight.
2. Second, called “mills”, combined major changes in production techniques and large investments in tangible fixed assets, with strong oversight and discipline, formula which already anticipated future Fordist division (López Groh, F, 2011).

Regarding the appearance of factories can be differentiated as causes (Mokyr, 2001) the exploitation of four factors:

1. Scale economies, later strengthened by mechanization.
2. The will to control the production, quality, standardization and productivity.
3. The control of the workforce.
4. The division of knowledge and expertise.

1.2. THE INDUSTRIAL AREA

The transition from the factory to the industrial estate begins in the late nineteenth century, when gradually geographically isolated locations, milltowns and urban industries are abandoned(Lopez Groh, F, 2011), coinciding with the Second Industrial Revolution.

Peter Scott (quoted by Lopez Groh, F, 2011), distinguishes 4 types of industrial estates:

1. Industrial estates located on the docks (Dock estate), usually several square kilometers and intended for heavy industry. Within this class enters Trafford Park, the first polygon developed in England.
2. The large fre-standing estate, also large, focusing on light industry and supported by railways and road transport.
3. The Factory Estate, smaller (about 500,000 m2), which is mainly introduced from the 30’s, supported by the existence of public services and occasionally integrated with residential developments.
4. The Garden City estates, integrated in garden cities developed from the ideas of Ebenezer Howard.

To these categories can be added a fifth, the “industrial pole” of Perroux, wherein a single industry -beating isolation of the factory- drived the local development, stimulating the emergence of ancillary industries and the growth of service sector and regional incomes (Ondategui 2001).

With the emergence in Europe of urban specialization (zoning)which inaugurated the primacy of vehicles over people in the 30s of XX century, the industrial estate becomes the answer to the needs of urban and industrial development, and impetus was given to the departure from the city of productive activities by building road infrastructure, becoming the industrial estate a key element of regional development policies. After Second World War industrial areas increase its importance as a mechanism for territorial development (López Groh, 2011), reaching its greatest development in the sixties of the twentieth century.

In Spain (López Groh, 2011) this figure arrived later, as almost everything, and the implementation of the first industrial estates by the public service Gerencia de Urbanización (today Sepes, Soil Public Company) does not occur until the second half of the fifties, generalized with Lopez Rodo’s Development Plans (G ª López Leániz, 2004) and always reproducing the international model with its two main features:

a) The promotion of economic activity and employment, using the industrial estate as a figure of territorial development, creating affordable soil, with grants and public funding for projects.
b) The urban policy based on zoning.

For Scott (quoted by Lopez Groh, 2011), the success of this figure is based on:

a) Technological upgrading of industry, with application of production techniques based on Fordism-Taylorism, the development of energy sources and the mobility allowed to industry by electricity.
b) The opportunity to expand the unskilled labor market to non-industrial and non-union environments.
c) An industrial property market characterized by:

  • The existence of infrastructures developed in between the wars.
  • The standardization of production space and construction processes as a result of Fordism and production needs in the Second World War.
  • The development of a industrial estates rental market.
  • The support of the promoters of these areas to small businesses.
  • And the potential growth offered by a new pardigm that established an orderly spatial development.

This way of territorial implantation for industry still has a strong presence throughout the world, however, at least in the West World, is facing a process of obsolescence, in which particular challenges arise:

• Sustainability and environmental management in a scenario of outdated urban infrastructure services.
• The reversibility of strict zoning seeking to move towards a mix of uses, both economic (office, retail, financial institutions) and public spaces (sports centers, cultural childcare)even residential.
• The lack of public transportation, services and ancillary activities.

The analysis of these challenges exceeds this report, but I would like to make a brief mention of the environmental management of these areas, which has taken the name EIP (Eco-Industrial Parks). The ultimate goal of these developments is the achievement of an industrial ecosystem, based on three principles (Ruiz et al 2009.):

• The reduction of energy consumption needs.
• The use of industrial waste as inputs in the production process.
• The implementation of a diversified industrial system.

Within these principles, that may fit both non-technological industrial parks and technological environments, we can make out several types, among which can be highlighted (Popescu and Avramescu 2008):

• Parks where symbiotic relationships are developed, such as Kalundborg, Denmark, paradigm of these developments.
• Parks specialized in non-polluting activities, services, and environmental or sustainable products.
• Parks focused on reuse and recycling.
• Parks promoted under an environmental “issue”.
• Parks with sustainable infrastructure and buildings.

A combination of these typologies and the focus on the above principles is required, and also the creation of corporate and institutional networks to promote exchanges between companies, exchanges that are the source of competitive advantage, exchanges very difficult to achieve because there are not only technical, economical, political but also organizational and communicational barriers(Popescu et al., 2008).

1.3.BUSINESS PARKS

In this category several authors understand both the eco-industrial Parks, actual science and technology parks and clusters of service companies and offices (Coupal; Rindasu) also assimilating territorial impacts, causes of success and demands of users. Others (Mérenne-Schoumaker, 1991), depending on the proportion of major uses and its links with universities and research, make out more categories: industrial, commercial, business, service, office, scientific, or technological, etc.

Peter Wyatt (2011) identifies the business parks with concentrations of service companies that start to occur from the eighties of the XX century and whose appearance outside urban areas intensifies, even more, population’s dependence of private vehicles and increases transport costs.

As above and for present porpuses, fall into this category parks with economic activity, shopping, business, service and offices, focusing in the tertiary sector. A partial match with Science and Technology Parks in its urban profile, in its causes of commercial success and in the characteristics sought by potential users is assumed: located in the periphery of urban areas, close to highways, airports, green environment and quality construction, low density, successful image, services and equipment (Mérenne-Schoumaker, 1991). Therefore it is that Science and Technology Parks that do not attract a real scientific or technological customers, fall into this category (Ondategui, 2001).

The following chart shows the evolution of location factors for industrial plants and allows us to discover, in phase 3, the partial overlap of location factors between industry, trade and innovation:

Chart 1. EVOLUTION OF LOCATION FACTORS


1.4. LAS “TECHNOPOLIS”

Manuel Castells and Peter Hall (1994) studied the different types of technological concentration of industrial activities and differentiated five types (high-tech industrial clusters, science cities, technology parks, regional development programs and industrialized metropolis). Although expression of “Science and Technology Park” has become a generic name for the purposes of scientific analysis and given the differences between those categories, their characteristics should be studied separately:

1.2.1. High-tech industrial clusters in which R&D and manufacturing processes coexist.

Castells and Hall (1994) studied this typology by analyzing two USA experiences, Silicon Valley and Route 128 in Boston. The starting point is very different in both cases, the first is a predominantly agricultural area and the second one of the quintessential industrial areas of the United States, which goes into decline in the late 40s of XX century.

These two examples have mainly two things in common: first, a core of universitary knowledge around and from which they are created (Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively) and, second, the development of military research projects and financial support of the Department of Defence, which impulses them by the pace of military conflicts of the second half of the twentieth century.

As is known (Castells et al, 1994;. Romera, 1992; Ondategui, 2001, 2002) the origin of Silicon Valley is in the initiative of Frederick Terman, Dean of Engineering and Vice President of Stanford University of renting at affordable prices university plots to technology companies, many of them founded by alumni, some even with Terman own personal loans. After the Second World War William Shockley founded in Palo Alto the “Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory” company from which emerged by cleavage “Fairchild Semiconductors”, starting the geometric progression of business split-offs that caused the concentration of competitiveness that characterizes Silicon Valley.

The second key factor, both in Boston and in California, is the promotion of research for military and even aerospatial -since the 50s- purposes (Castells et al, 1994;. Ondategui, 2001, 2002). That military impulse of Silicon Valley was released in the early 80s of XX century, and remained in Boston, creating there a greater reliance on defense policy and a reduced adaptability of the business sector.

However, these two features, the university core and the impulse of war, can not give an overall picture of this typology, so that, following Castells and Halls (1994) and Ondategui (2001) we are going to try an enumeration of its features:

• The role of labor as a vital axis, but not from the perspective of Weber’s Protestant work ethic.
• The value of work as an opportunity to innovate.
• Entrepreneurship and business perspective in all aspects of life.
• An aggressive competitiveness, leading towards “an extreme struggle to stay ahead, leading to a relaxation of moral standards in professional relationships” (Castells et al 1994, pg. 49).
• An absolute individualism in all imaginable areas: real estate market, education system, entertainment, politics, personal and family relationships, childhood, mental illness, etc.
• Social reference models based on economic success.
• Stress and as a result drugs and alcohol abuse.
• Attempt to fight stress by compensatory consumption and the creation of corporate subcultures that build social ties and belonging within companies (recreational activities, flexible hours, compressed week, aesthetic informality, etc. It is known, for example, Google’s policy on this).

These experiences and specifically Silicon Valley, despite its inimitability (Castells et al., 1994) are the seeds of Technology Parks, an attempt to recreate its conditions of innovation (Ondategui 2001).

1.2.2. Science cities: isolated real estate developments engaged in research.

This typology corresponds to government real estate developments, built in isolates spaces with the aim of creating a population concentration fully focused on scientific development. Castells and Halls (1994) studied cases in Siberia, South Korea and Japan, cities built from scratch to host research institutes and universities and provide accommodation for its users. From their study, important conclusions can be drawn:

• Its development tends to be associated with nondemocratic governments.
• The general rule is the absolute lack of autonomy and the economic, organizational and institutional dependence on government departments. They look like a city, but they are not at all.
• They are seen as poles of decentralization, as an attempt to avoid the centralization of scientific research environment around a major metropolis.
• They are areas with low population density, functional and socially segregated, so social interactions are limited.
• They generate hostility and rejection in their immediate geographical area.
• Forced relocation of research entities, removing them of their original social networks hinders investigations.
• The creation of these enclaves do not eliminate bureaucracy.
• Its social, geographic, and transport isolation and lack of direct relationships with industry and foreign technological advances, are the major causes of its dysfunction, in fact, they are unable to generate interaction with industry and create economic development until it is introduce modifications as:

  • Connect facilities with strategic communications networks.
  • Provide support both innovation and employees-residents (technology incubators, open labs, networking, symposia, technology transfer offices, communications centers, patent management, etc., in line with additional services that are endowed the S&TP) .
  • Provide input to private enterprise, both spatial, settling in the complex, such as operational, allowing “cross-fertilization” university-industry-research institutes, communication between research institutes, creating synergies, private-publico cooperation in projects and generating spin-offs.

• Once adjusted , they are able to have an active role in economic development, so when promoting a project like this “genesis turns out to be less important than the logic of subsequent development” (Castells et al., 1994, pg . 104).
• The concentration of human potential is necessary but not enough for successful technology settlements. The other needed factor are the creation of a culture and a functional, formal and informal organization, which allows research to attract industry.

1.2.3. Science and Technology Parks.

Technology Parks have become fashionable in Spanish southeast, where some are beginning slowly to take shape (Elche, Murcia, Fuente Alamo and Alicante). Its main goal, more prosaic than the rest of “technopolis” is geographical concentration of technology companies, in order to achieve a competitive position for its local economy, to promote industrial redevelopment, and to develope the labor market of their immediate environment, attracting private investment (Castells et al, 1994; Ondategui, 2002).

National, regional and local governments play an important role in its design, implementation and impulse, promoting infrastructure, facilities, telecommunications, offering tax benefits, developing marketing policies and even designing tayloring fit spaces for interested companies that not always will have got technological profile, because its capacity for job creation and investment will be also considered. As Castells and Halls indicated (1994, pg 130.):

“It is industrial competitiveness, rather than scientific quality, the underlying objective of any drafted technology park”.

This scheme, out of structural policies, usually has its viability rested on real estate development operation, funded through the sale of developed plots, as in Sophia-Antipolis (Castells et al., 1994), on the French Riviera, or even more pronounced in the U.S. parks (Ondategui, 2002), which arise without economic grants, but later its reliance on defense conglomerates can be very pronounced. Another key feature of U.S. parks is its focus on creating economic initiatives, start-up or turn university research projects into commercial level (spin-off) (Ondategui, 2001). In Spain these developments depend mainly on grants and public initiative.

The figure has been defined as from the perspective of innovation as from the characteristics of the infrastructure. We collect here the definition given by the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) (collected by Ondategui, 2001), which considers them initiatives that:

“a) Have formal and operational links with one or more universities, research centers or other institutions of higher education.
b) Are designed to encourage the formation and growth of knowledge-based industries and other organizations that are normally found on the site.
c) Have a leadership role that is actively engaged with the transfer of technology and business skills to tenant organizations”.

The first parks were conceived by its proponents and political influence from a territorial perspective, measuring success in square meters more than in innovation. However, this dynamic has already been overtaken and replaced by the quality of space and the concentration of complementary activities and services, closeness and involvement of universities, quality of life, leisure, housing, employment, and presence of critical mass of researchers, anchor firms and entrepreneurial culture (Ondategui, 2002). The figure reflects the involvement of universities in the management bodies of the parks internationally.
FIGURE 1. DO THE UNIVERSITIES HAVE RIGTH TO VOTE OR DECISION MAKING POWER IN TECHNOLOGY PARKS?

Source: IASP web http://www.iasp.ws (data date 2012)

In terms of geographical location, those built outside regional development policies have a very definite localization principle: “dense urban environments” (Ondategui, 2002, pg. 150) or in medium-sized metropolitan areas or immediate periphery of global metropolises.

The activities of these production means are focused on a global scale in semiconductors, software, new materials, hardware and biochemistry, with multiple services and ancillary industries around. Ondategui (2002) highlights the growing importance of two new types of key activities, biomedicine and telecommunications.

U.S. parks concentrate high-tech companies in an environment in which those coexist with university. They are not only innovative, financially profitable means, but also have very present its influence on the dynamics of regional development (Ondategui 2001). Minneapolis, Philadelfia, Seattle, Massachusetts, Tucson, Harvard, Columbia, North Carolina and many others parks can be highlighted.

In the UK, the development engine of the park is University (Ondategui 2002), although there are rare cases, where the development of the system is completely independent from the public pulse as Cambridge (Castells et al. 1994) whose development as a technology center was slowed by urban planning in order to preserve the character of university environment, until 1970, when occupation is accelerated, sustained on demand, the same college environment and the support of Barclays Bank.

In France, the first experience was the ZIRST, Grenoble (G ª Leániz López, 2004). Highlights the Sophia-Antipolis example where Perrin (quoted by Castells and Halls) notes that has a dual structure, on the one hand it is a “prestige” environment for multinational and on the other, a SMEs incubation center, scenario which is widely reproduced in other S&TP, being the task of managerial bodies of parks to get the interaction between large corporations and SMEs and with universities or research centers.

Hsin-Chu Taiwan is known for being a mechanism for reversing braindrain emigration to the U.S., and also because installed companies usually hire universities to conduct applied research and instead of using their own equipment, universities are allow to use companies private facilities (Castells et al. 1994). The usefulness of the parks as a means for retaining or recovering migrated talent -on that thought should be given in Spain- is a feature that is also present in India, where they begin to emerge parks such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai (Ondategui, 2001).

The model has spread worldwide. In Africa and the Middle East there are projects ongoing, with Iran at the forefront in number of parks. Also notable for their media impact is the new city of Masdar in the UAE, which claims to be the first zero-emissions city. In Latin America expansion started with the Technology Park of the Brasilia University and has been extended its use. In Oceania and Russia the model has begun to be implemented almost as late as in Spain (Ondategui, 2002). Turkey is also pushing the figure, and of course, China.

Whatever the formula, the design and who are the developpers and the partners, the point that carries greater difficulty is the creation of synergies between institutions and firms in the parks. Physical proximity is necessary but not enough.

From Castells and Halls study (1994) may be inferred a number of features and activities needed for the parks in order to have a viable future and a economic activity creator behavior:

• Is needed to set clear objectives at the time of conception.
• Four components are necessary: research institutes and universities, large enterprises and SMEs.
• The relationship between parks the scientific universities should be very close, but universties should not assume the role of marketer, trader or promoter.
• Is required the existence of a network of institutions and additional entities: companies, financial institutions, venture capital and local political support.
• It is very difficult to start from scratch, in environments without industrialization and corporate culture.
• Is needed a critical mass of companies with associative dynamics that create synergies to build on them technology transfer and job mobility.
• You need to be patient. The result of these experiences can only really be judged after twenty or twenty-five years of its starting up.
• You must find mechanisms to encourage cross-fertilization.
• You must generate financial support for innovation, which companies can access at least while they are being incubated.
• A strong presence of the private sector is required: if the majority of the settlers are authorities or public institutions, synergies, growth or relevant economic activity will not be created. The presence of private enterprise in research activity makes it viable and results-oriented.
• You need to set Intelectual Property policy in which the economic benefits are shared between universities and researchers, to promote research.
• As for the services the park has to offer:

  • Marketing sttrategy of the park, sold itself as a place in which you have to be. 
  • Basic, administrative and support services. 
  • Financial services and advanced business services. 
  • Technical services as business incubators, technology incubators or labs. 
  • Leisure, commerce, recreation, restaurants, sports and health. 
  • Spaces for rent: offices and warehouses. 
  • Affordable Housing nearby. 
  • Tax incentives of local authorities. 
  • Restoration spaces with quality or charisma, where much of the informal exchanges of information took place. 
  • Technical manpower formed in nearby universities.

FIGURE 2. DOES YOUR SCIENCE PARK HAVE BUSINESS INCUBATORS AND INCUBATION PROGRAMS?

Source: IASP web http://www.iasp.ws (data date 2011).

FIGURE 3. HOW OFTEN IS ARE THERE SOCIAL OR CULTURAL EVENTS IN YOUR PARK OR INCUBATOR?

Source: IASP web http://www.iasp.ws (data date de 2006).

Meanwhile Ondategui (2001, 2002) stresses that involvement of private companies in the design, implementation and management of the park, organized by public private partnerships or foundations, is the key to guarantee their viability and proper management.

This presence, whether industrial, technological or financial companies ensures that management falls outside of non-viable political approaches and that the management boards have a professional profile. An example is the Zernike Science Park, managed by a company owned by University of Groningen, banks, insurance companies and the Zernike Group. In this park, the Zernike Seed Fund invests in each company that is installed, and protects it during the early years, which has reduced the number of business failures to an astonishing 3%.

Are reproduced below figures for IASP members, nearly 400 parks associates in 69 countries, distributed as follows:

Figure 2. IASP MEMBERS AROUND THE WORLD. 2013


At first glance we can see that the weight of countries in the association has little to do with the innovative capacities of their economies. Spain occupies by far the first in representation -which may have to do with that IASP is based in Malaga- while Japan, China, the second-ranked, and United States have little representation regarding its ability to technological innovation.

It is noted that Italian parks have a representation that is less than half of existing, and in regard to Germany is only present a tiny part of the existing forty-four in 2004 (López G ª Leániz, 2004).

Given this portrait, questions like those arise: the presence in the IASP, to what extent does reflect the number of existing parks in each country? Are Spaniards S&TP actual S&TP? How many of them are baseless political adventures? To what extent do they serve to create innovation?, Do they go after innovation or parochial regional development? Are they being wasted efforts in the geographical dissemination of these spaces?

1.2.4. Regional Development Programs.

Following Castells and Halls classification, we also analyzed the regional technology development strategies for whose analysis the authors relied on the “Technopolis Program” in Japan, which consisted in the development of 26 science parks throughout the Japanese geography, with the double goal of driving the country to a world leadership position in innovation and serve as a mechanism for regional development, to counteract the centripetal force of Tokyo and Osaka where were concentrated in the early 80s the vast majority of the population and innovation poles (Castells et al. 1994).

As a regional development approach, moving away from the ordinary solutions focused on the production of “hard” infrastructure, this program enhanced the “soft” infrastructure(qualified staff, new technologies, venture capital, telecommunications), linked with universities, research centers, parks industrial, offices, conference centers and the creation of new residential towns. All this had to grow around a city, a university and pre-existing industries (Castells et al. 1994).

The result of this ambitious policy did not achieve the expected results in terms of innovation, since the vast majority of parks, away from Tokyo, did not get their objective results. However those parks acted as an activity concentration point in their respective regions, receiving secondary facilities of multinationals corporations, without R&D, which has continued to be focuses on the “Tokyo-Yokohama Mega-Technopolis” (Castells et al. 1994).

Nowadays, once consolidated the Technopolis program, the mechanism for design and improvement of parks, not only matters the will of the government, but also public participation demanding improvements in quality of life and environmental awareness (Ondategui, 2002).

1.2.5. The industrial metropolises.

Several authors (Castells et al, 1994, Ondategui, 2001, 2002) identify the metropolises as the true centers of innovation, polycentric regions with strong industrial and training activities, with critical mass for create the relationships that lead to innovation. However, these relationships do not occur automatically, they need to be encouraged by the political, institutional, cultural and geographical environment.

Castells y Halls (1994) destacan la elasticidad de las metrópolis consolidadas, que han sabido adaptarse desde la Primera Revolución Industrial. En el proceso de adaptación a la nueva economía, llama la atención que tanto Londres como Paris hayan localizado sus potencialidades tecnológicas en zonas geográfica y socialmente muy prestigiosas, como el entorno del castillo de Windsor o el Palacio de Versalles, donde se concentran hoy día centros de investigación, escuelas técnicas y empresas tecnológicas.

Castles and Halls (1994) emphasize the resilience of consolidated metropolises, who have been adapting from the First Industrial Revolution. In the process of adapting to the new economy, it is remarkable that both London and Paris have located their technological potential in geographical and social prestigious areas, as the surroundings of Windsor Castle and the Palace of Versailles, where are today concentrated research centers, technical schools and technology companies.

This coincidence concerning renowned environments agrees with the statement of Vergara and De las Rivas (2004) about the possibility that, in Spain, the next innovative environments may be the restored historic urban centers, which is already taking place in cities like Bilbao, around which takes shape the Basque metropolis, a network linking the three provinces and their capitals.

Tokyo, paradigm of technological metropolises, combines four streams that drive towards innovation: R&D policies, training and horizontal mobility within large industrial corporations, fostering competition among subcontractors and government coordination, making innovation a matter of state that is agreed with industrial corporations and financial institutions (Castells et al. 1994).

Together with the regions that have traditionally been considered metropolises, Castles and Halls (1994) included a new emerging actors, as Munich or Southern California.

Nowadays we can add Madrid perhaps, but certainly Singapore. We can even consider all cities present in the running of Smart Places or Smart Territories, trying to become a point of attraction for innovation through participation, leadership, sustainability, restoration and by creating environments of prestige, social development and the networks of cities (Vergara and De las Rivas, 2004).

1.2.6. CONCLUSION

Following Castells and Halls (1994), it can be concluded that there is no single formula for developing a successful technology implementation, but several common points can be established:

a) The most favorable places for the development of an innovation cluster are large metropolitan cities, due to its critical mass and international connectivity.
b) There are three targets that drive the implementation one Technopolis: re-industrialization, regional development and the creation of an “innovative means”. These objectives are present to a different extent in individual cases, may even be exclusive, so it is necessary to choose one as the central theme.
c) Is needed a strong impulse by the Administration, as funder, client or researcher, but mostly as planner, laying the foundation for the emergence of private sector and competition.
d) The role of universities is decisive on four fronts:

  • Knowledge generation, directing research.
  • Training of manpower.
  • With an entrepreneurial attitude, encouraging the process of creating spin-off from university research and allowing compatibility of corporate management, teaching and research.
  • The aim to have strong links with industry and commerce, in order to act as a conduit for innovation.

e) Strong financial support, which in this sector is usually characterized by a profile of venture capital, is needed.
f) It is necessary to build social networks and an entrepreneurial culture in the area of influence, searching to cause synergies. It is not enough real estate development.
g) These social networks should be encouraged, promoted, from the very inception of the idea, not wait for the stages of real estate development.
h) To establish lasting links, formal and informal, between university researchers and industry, it is essential.
i) Government and universities should establish the engines: research agenda, technologies and priority industries.
j) Be aware that these are long-term investments: the success of these facilities can be seen only in the very long term, occupation of these areas is very slow and synergies are not created until a critical mass of companies is achieved. In addition, the period of consolidation of research teams can exceed ten years (Ondategui 2001).
k) Since these periods exceed both the long business term as the political cycle, pressures -political and real estate- chasing investment return within four or five years, will be very strong but, “should not be allowed that a technology park, for example, degenerates into a mere office park simply because of the viability of speculative profits. Protecting the integrity of the project should be the first responsibility for state policy” (Castells et al. pg.: 348).
l) A sixth innovative mean rises: large corporations, which have taken global leadership in R+D+i (Ondategui 2001).
m) Although we do not get true innovation poles but a simple concentration of companies, is worth to try, “the branch plants are better than nothing” (Castells et al. pg.: 346).

 

 

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