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UKINNOVATION UK155 the most talented people, the availability of risk capital throughout the lifecycle of technology- based businesses and the efficiency of local networks connecting players in the triple helix of business, academia and public sector. In short, building a science park in a region won't neces-sarily guarantee the emergence of a RIC, but it's quite difficult to identify one that doesn't have a successful science park. The most obvious contribution of science parks to the innovation system is physical - they provide a variety of often specialised accommodation on flexible terms. Cer-tainly in the initial stages of cluster development, private developers won't take the risk of building speculative laboratories or data centres for an unproven market. Even in more mature markets, there need to be innovative public/ private sector partnerships to fund the provision of innovative facilities to small companies with limited cash and a short trading history. In some cases, shared technical resources can be pro-vided to all tenants by science parks. Examples of this include expensive software development platform tech-nology, clean rooms or sophisticated testing equipment. At the opposite end of the scale, the UK government is supporting the development of science parks around Daresbury and Harwell, recognising that major national science facilities should be accessible to high- tech firms - start- ups can't afford their own synchrotron. A less tangible but equally important contribution by the science park is often one of image and brand. The global competition between regions for talented people and innovative firms is fierce, and a successful science park bestows an added advantage to a region that is trying to develop its knowledge economy through foreign direct investment. The image of a science park can also act as an attrac-tor to talented individuals whose concerns are not just the first job offer but subsequent ones for them and their partners. A third area where 3G science parks play a role in the innovation system is in acting as a focus and stimulus for the multiplicity of networks that are integral to their suc-cess. Sometimes described as " optimising serendipity", science park management involves creating opportunities for interaction between the key players - entrepreneurs, academics and investors. This may be achieved through social or professional events organised by and held on the park premises but it is also a guiding principle in building design - using space to encourage innovation. So, today's science parks and technology- based incuba-tors are critical ingredients for a successful " knowledge-based economy". They provide: » A focus for entrepreneurial talent » Support for high- tech businesses » A link between businesses and universities » Specialist offices and laboratories » Flexible tenancy agreements » Bespoke business support at all stages of company development. As to the future of science parks, well, nothing is certain. The economy has begun to slip into a suspected recession where capital is increasingly difficult to access as finan-cial institutions attempt to recover from poor lending decisions in the property sector. We have no real feel for the extent or nature of this eco-nomic downturn, but one thing is clear - investors of any nature will be looking very carefully at their returns from their investment in technology- based firms. Today, there is no better place to locate a firm wishing to undertake research or develop a new technology, and UKSPA members are seen to be providing the safest envi-ronment in the country for this type of firm. For more information, contact Paul Wright: E- mail: paul. wright@ ukspa. org. uk Website: www. ukspa. org. uk Above: Edinburgh Centres of Excellence UK Science & Innovation Parks: uk science parks asociation

156INNOVATION UKINNOVATION COLWORTH SCIENCE PARK Developed and managed in a joint venture between Good-man and Unilever, Colworth Science Park in Bedfordshire is a thriving location for scientific research, development and commercialisation. The Park is home to 17 compa-nies including Unilever, a major economic contributor to the UK, and is one of six global research centres that benefit from Unilever's ? 1bn annual research budget. In August 2008, planning permission was granted for a development at the Park that will bring a further 130 high- value jobs to Bedfordshire. The new scheme will comprise a Discovery Centre, providing state- of- the- art conferencing, meeting room and catering facilities plus dedicated space for business school academics. The purpose- built Innovation Centre will house smaller com-mercial organisations and scientific academics. There will also be provision for additional grow- on space to sup-port larger businesses in the region. In addition to the growing commercial base, two of the world's leading academic institutions, Cranfield School of Management and Cambridge University's Institute for Manufacturing and Judge Business School Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, will also establish an academic presence in the new buildings at the Park. Last August, Goodman was named the development partner for Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, when it signed a joint venture with the UK Atomic Energy Authority ( UKAEA) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council ( STFC). Goodman is work-ing with these partners to develop the site into one of the world's principal locations for scientific, academic and business collaboration. Goodman has now secured a major coup with the announcement that the European Space Agency plans to open a research facility at the site. The new centre will focus on researching space robotics and climate change. Investment at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus will encompass fundamental scientific research and the development of property, facilities and local infrastruc-ture. A minimum of 100,000 sq m of laboratory, high-technology industrial and office accommodation will be developed in the first phase of the project. In the longer term, up to 5,000 high- value knowledge- based jobs are also expected to be created. For more information, visit: www. colworthpark. com DARESBURY SCIENCE AND INNOVATION CAMPUS Daresbury SIC in Cheshire is a government- backed devel-opment on the site of the Daresbury Laboratory, one of the major facilities of the Science & Technology Facilities Council ( STFC). Although the Lab has been on this site since 1962, with a major focus on accelerator science emerging over the last two decades, it was only in Sep-tember 2006 when Lord Sainsbury, the Science Minister at the time, launched the Campus as we now know it, starting with a £ 50m investment from the Northwest Regional Development Agency ( NWDA) to build the Daresbury Innovation Centre and the Cockcroft Institute - the UK Centre for Accelerator Science. Since then, the Campus's strapline of locating " business at the heart of science" has proven to be very accurate, with nearly 100 hi- tech businesses having made Dares-bury SIC their home - mostly representing the digital, biomedical and advanced- engineering sectors. To sup-port the growth of these companies, the Campus brings together business, academia and the public- sector stake-holders in the form of the STFC, NWDA and Halton Borough Council, along with the universities of Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester. The Campus network is by no means an intangible ben-efit - it would appear to have a real economic impact - with annual sales growth among tenant companies at 50% and almost 100 new jobs created since the Cam-pus was launched. Companies are also benefiting from government- backed business support services - with over a quarter using the services of UK Trade & Investment and over half using Business Link Northwest service provided through the NWDA. The Campus has been earmarked for a £ 65m government investment for two new technology gateway centres. The new centres will enable research in computer modelling, key in understanding and predicting issues ranging from climate change to how cells interact in the body; and detector and sensor development, for use in security sys-tems and biomedical imaging. Another exciting development which reflects the extent of interaction between the Campus and the stakeholder Universities is " IDEAS at Daresbury". IDEAS ( Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Science) is a new collabo-ration of the Business/ Management Schools of the three universities, seeking to promote and develop detailed understanding of the knowledge exchange processes between hi- tech SMEs, large corporations, universities and government- backed science and technology. It will also evaluate the long- term impact of public investment in major science facilities and organisations, such as uni-versities, science parks and research establishments. For more information, visit: wwwwdaresburysic. co. uk Centres of Excellence UK Science & Innovation Parks: UK Science Parks Association