Networks and Spatiality of University Incubators: Global and local links amongst SETsquared spinoff/ intra-firms at Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey in England
This paper examines the extent to which university incubators are connected with their regional economy in terms of key resources such as intellectual capital (in the form of new research ideas that have commercial potential), human resource (scientific and industry expertise) and finance. Drawing on network visualisation methods initially pioneered by Casper and Murray (2005), Casper (2007) and Gilding (2008), we analyse patterns of organisational collaboration and clusters among firms which are supported by one of the university incubator programmes in the UK: SETsquared Business Acceleration Centres at Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. The study investigates networks at local, national and international levels, identifying the spatial patterns that have evolved in the region since the inception of SETSquared programme in 2003. The paper highlights the significance and persistence of external resource, which is attracted at the local and university level, and makes impacts at the regional level, if appropriate partnership structures are in place. The paper points out the significance of brand-building at the partnership level, which is linked to inter-regional level with strong ties with the wider strong mega-region of Oxford, Cambridge and London.
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