19 April 2012
Since their inception, Science Parks have proven to be an invaluable asset in the technology commercialisation landscape in the UK and beyond.
Recent Government policy and strategy has reaffirmed the role of research derived commercial opportunity as a key driving factor in national economic growth and wealth creation.
Science Parks continue to act as a focal point for effective collaborations between research intensive academia, (multinational) corporate R&D functions and a range of smaller, highly innovative (University derived) SMEs.
The 21st century has heralded dramatic changes in the global economic landscape.
The continued, rapid development of the internet and has brought about a new era of interconnectivity. Organisations now work far more flexibly and without borders. As a result knowledge is no longer bound by location and high performance teams are no longer compelled to work statically, in a regimented pattern, in the same location, country or even time zone.
To retain such mobile knowledge, skills and people, countries have to offer compelling value to entrepreneurs, corporations and researchers.
In the UK, the economic conditions have further affected government, academia and business’s ability to invest in fundamental research and subsequent commercialisation. Larger corporates are retreating from front line R&D, universities are retrenching in response to significant funding regime changes and SMEs are struggling to secure higher risk-funding for innovation and technology led opportunities.
To remain relevant, the Science Park movement has to respond to these challenges.
The 21st Century Science Park will provide the pragmatic reasons and resources for corporations, universities and smaller businesses to connect and collaborate with each other.
The 21st Century Science Park ecosystem will help build technology based businesses and support truly open innovation functions and approaches:
This concept is about a change in focus, attitude and approach matching services to the new ways of working in the global R&D community. This concept is not about the latest web/social media technology, internet portals and telecommunications tools – they are important enablers but not the solution in themselves.
The Science Park must reinvigorate itself for a new era, with new economic conditions and may not even call itself a Science Park in the future.
3 Frederick Sanger Road
The Surrey Research Park
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7YD
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