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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium
to be less appreciated by policymakers and the public in the United States. In the United States, support for research parks is principally undertaken by state and local governments with limited support by the federal government.12
While research parks are highly varied, the conference nonetheless captured some common elements characteristic of successful research parks. These “best practices” include the presence of:
Champions: Committed champions who match sustained, high-level attention with significant support for the growth and development of a research park.13
Leadership: Effective leadership and professional management to facilitate networking among the entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, and others within and around the research park’s innovation ecosystem.14
Funding: Designated and sustained public funding and active private participation, combined with effective public policies to support companies that seek to convert ideas into innovations and innovations into products for the market.15
Bridging institutions: Such as the North Carolina Board on Science and Technology, that preserve the vision of the research park over the long period it takes for parks to mature and become successful.16
Soft infrastructure: This term captures the positive human capital built over many years of public investments in education and skills training, public policies that encourage an entrepreneurial culture, and the presence of networks among professionals.17
Metrics: Effective metrics to help management set clear goals and, over time, gauge the effectiveness of the research park.18
See the remarks by Prof. Phillip Phan in the Proceedings section of this report.
Dr. Richard Stulen drew attention to the role that effective high-level champions like Senator Bingaman have played in the growth of New Mexico’s Sandia Science and Technology Park.
Clear goals, capable management, and sustained support are essential for the effective development of research parks, as documented in recent reviews by the National Research Council of the research parks affiliated with the NASA Ames Research Center and Sandia National Laboratories. See National Research Council, A Review of the New Initiatives at the NASA Ames Research Center, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001, and National Research Council, A Review of the Sandia Science and Technology Park Initiative, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999.
In his keynote address, President Barker of Clemson University emphasized the instrumental role played by the State of South Carolina as well as private donors like BMW in providing sustained support and the scale of funding needed to provide the ICAR “instant scale and instant density.” See the presentation of James Barker in the Proceedings section of this report.
See the presentation by Robert McMahan in the Proceedings section of this report.
Describing the case of Singapore, Ms. Yena Lim noted that the government has over 40 years built a strong education system, raising the value of learning and rewarding scientific and engineering excellence. See the presentation by Yena Lim in the Proceedings section of this report.
See the presentations by Albert Link of the University of North Carolina and William Kittredge of the Department of Commerce in the Proceedings section of this report.