Box A

What is a Research Park?

Alternatively referred to as research parks, science parks, technology parks, technopoles, science centers, business innovation centers, and centers for advanced technology, there appears to be no singular characterization of a research park. The International Association of Science Parks defines a Science Park as “an organisation managed by specialised professionals, whose main aim is to increase the wealth of its community by promoting the culture of innovation and the competitiveness of its associated businesses and knowledge-based institutions. To enable these goals to be met, a Science Park stimulates and manages the flow of knowledge and technology amongst universities, R&D institutions, companies and markets; it facilitates the creation and growth of innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off processes; and provides other value-added services together with high quality space and facilities.”a


aAccessed at <> on January 22, 2009.

formation while enhancing the competitiveness of national firms, particularly in leading technological sectors.

Research parks are seen increasingly around the world as a means to create dynamic clusters that accelerate economic growth and international competitiveness. Specifically, research parks, of various sizes and types, are widely seen as an effective policy tool to realize larger and more visible returns on a nation’s investments in research and development. Most research parks seek to encourage greater collaboration among universities, research laboratories, and large and small companies, in order to facilitate the conversion of new ideas into the innovative technologies for the market.1 They are widely considered to be a proven tool to encourage the formation of innovative high-technology companies.2 They are also seen as an effective means to generate employment and to make existing companies more competitive through cooperative R&D, shared facilities, and the benefits derived from co-location.3

S&T Parks are a rapidly growing phenomenon and an increasingly common tool of national and regional economic development. They are designed to:


See, for example, the presentation by Dr. M. S. Ananth of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras in the Proceedings section of this report.


See, for example, the presentation by Zhu Shen on the Chinese strategy concerning research parks in the Proceedings section of this report.


See, for example, the presentation by Yena Lim on Singapore’s strategy in the Proceedings section of this report.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement