Science and Technology Parks impacts on tenant organisations: a review of literature
Sixty years after the establishment of the first science park at Stanford University, Science and Technology Parks (STPs) have reached a worldwide diffusion. Many papers have discussed parks’ role in promoting new technology-based firms (NTBFs) and their impacts on firms’ performances, often drawing contrasting conclusions. On the one hand, some authors believe that STPs have generally failed to foster the establishment and growth of NTBFs or to encourage technology transfer among firms and public research organisations. These authors’ opinion on STPs is that those that are “successful” do nothing more than group successful firms together in the same area. According to other authors STPs are instead of actual added value to the on-park firms and to the territory in which they are located. The added value is measured for instance by the increased growth rate in turnovers and number of employees, greater resource diversification, and lower mortality rates. In particular, in some cases, science parks seem to be able to positively affect the innovative activities of tenant firms (in terms of R&D expenditure and intensity, number of patent applications, number of copyrights and publications, number of new products/services launched, etc.). In this paper we comprehensively analyse the literature on STPs, emphasizing the role that parks play in supporting R&D activities both in public research organisations and firms, assessing, according to literature, the added value of an on-park location. Finally, we discuss the limits of the literature and provide suggestions for future research.
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