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INNOVATION UK153 The UK Science Park Association is dedicated to raising the standards of science park provision through an inclusive membership policy and improvement of membership services, ensuring that the brand of science park in the UK is maintained as a distinct property and business development offering, not just a real estate initiative Raising the standards What are science parks? Science Parks are also known as Research Parks, Technology Parks, Technology Centres, Technopoles, Innovation Centres, Technology- based Incubators and Bio- Incubators. It is possible to name a property development a " science park" even if there is no technology trans­­fer or support for tenants. The UK Science Park Association's ( UKSPA) role is to support the maintenance of high standards of science park provision in the UK through initiatives for members that help them to develop their know- ­ledge and understanding, grow their networks and share good practice. UKSPA aims to raise the standards of science park provision through an inclusive membership policy and improvement of membership services to ensure that the brand of science park in the UK is maintained as a dis-tinct property and business development offering, not just a real estate initiative. how did they begin? Innovation locations supporting high- tech companies such as Science Parks and Incubators offer a specialist product to high- tech companies. From a property per-spective the fact that the market is specialist has meant that property companies in the 1980s and 1990s had to make a positive choice to invest time and money to devel-oping knowledge of the sector. Those companies who, for whatever reasons, chose to invest, are key stakeholders and key players in the science park movement today. The majority of these companies are members of UKSPA. However, the story did not start with property, but rather with the process of " commercialisation", whereby a discovery made through research can, given the right business advice, be developed into a start- up company able, over time, to generate income from the commercialisation of the idea. 1986 was the year when universities were given ownership of the intellectual property generated within their institutions. As companies began to spin out of universities and the private sector, it became obvious that there was a need for physical space to support them. The public sector, in the form of Local Authori-ties, Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations, initially viewed science park developments as property developments. Public-sector funds have been invested in capital build in an effort to provide the facilities required to retain or grow commercial activity within a particular region. By the turn of the century, the public sector recognised that this was not enough and so incubation policies were created that recognised the value of an incubation sup-port process. The debate over the value of a " process" strategy over a " property" strategy ensued. Would a focus on process rather than property be the answer? Analysis has shown that a focus on process alone was not sufficient. A new strategy merging the two elements of property and process has already emerged and hope-fully will be increasingly evident in RDA and Devolved Administration enterprise and innovation strategies in the coming years. Science parks continue to recognise the value of support mechanisms for their tenant companies Centres of Excellence UK Science & Innovation Parks: uK Science Parks Association

154INNOVATION UKINNOVATION and also regard the presence of an incubator service as a way to attract new companies to the area. At the same time, it has become clear that successful incubator ten-ants require grow- on space. So what was once a clash of " property" versus " process" is now emerging as a new era of property- process- economic development- partnership. Partnership Development In the 1990s, partnerships between universities, the private sector and the public sector were rare and, where they existed, they were not necessarily effective. Today, many science parks are made up of partners from all three key sectors, all bringing their skills and agendas to the table. Analysis of the formative years of partnership working in the sector revealed that there was a need for improved communications between partners by recognising the occurrence of miscommunication resulting from the dif-fering cultures and expectations of the three sectors. Many of UKSPA's Business Affiliates involved in science park developments start with partnership development work, which in their view is critical. Facts and Figures » Estimated annual turnover of tenants: £ 5.5bn » Floor space: 1.88 million sq m » Number of employees: 73,000 » Number of tenant companies: 3,300 » Number of locations under development: 8 » Number of locations supporting tenants: 71 Suporting Comercialisation - Science Parks and Incubators 1. Commercialisation of IP 1980s 2. Science Park properties 1980s 3. Economic development issues 1990s 4. Incubation 2000s 5. Partnership 2000s 6. Models of success 2007 Given the right property, partnership and process, how should the product be managed to best effect? It was during the first half of the " noughties" that the results of many different and disparate analyses started to reveal some of the critical success factors. This is the beginning of a new stage in the science park evolution and UKSPA's role is to support its members who are operating in this arena and are beginning to ben-efit from these new insights and developments. Recently, there has been much comment and debate regarding " third generation" science parks. " Third Generation" ( 3G) science parks are recognised as an integral part of the infrastructure that supports the growth of regional research intensive clusters ( RICs). The extent of the impact of science parks on their regional knowledge economy is governed by factors outside their control, such as the calibre of research in their local university, the attractiveness of their city or region to Below: Chesterfield Centres of Excellence UK Science & Innovation Parks: UK Science Parks Association