Also, it would be desirable if park tenants included multiple sectors, multiple companies, and companies of different sizes (i.e., they should not all be Fortune 500 companies).
In following up this symposium, Dr. Wessner observed that the STEP Board's project on "Government–Industry Partnerships for the Development of New Technologies" hopes to look at the experience of foreign S&T parks and at manageable criteria for allowing foreign-owned companies to participate in federally funded research programs.
Given the growing importance of collaborative research conducted over the Internet, Dr. Wessner asked whether the S&T park should act as a node on the Internet for regional research activities. This could perhaps add value to projects at the S&T park. This prompted one participant to observe that although he agreed the park should be on the Internet, it was not yet simple or easy to access specialized research facilities, such as those at Sandia, over the Internet.
In conclusion, Dr. Wessner recalled that several speakers had called for increased discretion for program managers and for reduced bureaucracy. Although clearly desirable, substantial increases in managerial discretion might prove difficult to achieve in the current political climate. He supported the notion that some easily understood benchmark criteria might therefore be a good safeguard. Other U.S. partnership programs, such as ATP, might offer valuable lessons in this regard. Last, he noted that, although he had heard several participants observe that Sandia is new to the partnership process and is, in effect, feeling its way, this remains an observation, not an explanation. The political and policy environment in which Sandia operates is likely to remain unforgiving.
Dr. Wessner closed the proceedings by thanking the many participants from around the country, and, in particular, the Sandia management who, at their own initiative, had asked the Academy to organize this discussion of Sandia's plans for a S&T park.