The role of STPs and areas of innovation

Areas of innovation, of which science, technology and research parks (STPs) are a highly specialised type, play a key role in the economic development of their environment. Through a dynamic and innovative mix of policies, programmes, quality space and facilities and high value-added services, they:
  • stimulate and manage the flow of knowledge and technology between universities and companies
  • facilitate the communication between companies, entrepreneurs and technicians
  • provide environments that enhance a culture of innovation, creativity and quality
  • focus on companies and research institutions as well as on people: the entrepreneurs and ‘knowledge workers'
  • facilitate the creation of new businesses via incubation and spin-off mechanisms, and accelerate the growth of small and medium size companies
  • work in a global network that gathers many thousands of innovative companies and research institutions throughout the world, facilitating the internationalisation of their resident companies

How IASP defines our key terms: 

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Science park

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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. The acronym STP (science and technology park) is used to refer to all of these expressions.

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Title:

Area of Innovation

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"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 (also known by the acronym AOIs)– 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.

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