A glossary of some key terms and definitions from the industry of science and technology parks and areas of innovation
A science park is 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.
The expressions “technology park”, “technopole”, “research park” and “science park” encompass a broad concept and are interchangeable within this definition.
Area of Innovation
"Areas of innovation" are places designed and curated to attract entrepreneurial-minded people, skilled talent, knowledge-intensive businesses and investments, by developing and combining a set of infrastructural, institutional, scientific, technological, educational and social assets, together with value added services, thus enhancing sustainable economic development and prosperity with and for the community.
There are many different models of areas of innovation – spanning from the broader city or region model with innovation activities in different locations within the area, to more place-specific projects like innovation districts, knowledge quarters, science parks, innovation hubs and the like. As a common feature they all have a management team tasked to execute a strategy conducive to growing innovation activity in the area.
Corporate governance is the system by which business corporations are directed and controlled. The corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation, such as, the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders, and spells out the rules and procedures for making decisions on corporate affairs. By doing this, it also provides the structure through which the company objectives are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance.
An economy with the capacity to work as a unit in real time on a planetary scale.
Clusters are networks of interdependent firms, knowledge-producing institutions (universities, research institutes, technology-providing firms), bridging institutions (e.g. providers of technical or consultancy services) and customers, linked in a production chain which creates added value. The concept of cluster goes beyond that of firm networking, as it captures all forms of knowledge sharing and exchange.
Information Society: A society characterised by a high level of information intensity in the everyday life of most citizens, in most organisations and workplaces; by the use of common or compatible technology for a wide range of personal, social, educational and business activities, and by the ability to transmit, receive and exchange digital data rapidly between places irrespective of distance.
There is no official or universally accepted definition of an SME. The definitions used vary widely among countries, but they are most often based on employment. In general, an SME is considered to have fewer than 500 employees, although many countries use a lower cut-off, say 300 or 100 employees. Some countries differentiate between manufacturing and services SMEs; in this case, services SMEs are usually defined as smaller than manufacturing SMEs. Some countries distinguish between autonomous SMEs and those that are connected to a larger enterprise or group, or identify an SME in terms of management structure (personal involvement of the owner or family-owned, for example). Finally, statistical definitions of SMEs often differ from those used for policy implementation purposes; for example, although a firm with 600 employees may not be regarded as an SME for statistical purposes, it may still be able to gain access to public support programmes designed for SMEs. The main feature of an SME is that it is not large, in the sense that an SME is not in the core of the largest 10 or 20 per cent of firms in that market or industry. This leads to a rough convention for categorising SMEs: micro: 1 - 4 employees; very small: 5 - 19 employees; small: 20 - 99 employees; and medium: 100 - 500 employees.