Areas of Innovation Leave Science Parks in the Dust

Monday, July 18, 2016

By Site Selection Magazine

Are you in or near an area of innovation? Are you looking for one in which to locate a new facility or find talent or conduct research? The International Association of Science Parks has a new resource for identifying them. Areas of Innovation in a Global World: Concept and Practice is a recently published book with chapters contributed by experts from 15 countries and all seven continents – yes, Antarctica too. One chapter is by Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit business acceleration organization affiliated with several Michigan universities and community colleges, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and other entities. He is an IASP board member and president of the association’s North American division.

“Areas of innovation are communities like Ann Arbor, where the people and organizations that are assets to the economy are working together to create prosperity,” says Krutko. “Our regional economy offers insight on what works, and is a model for other regions to copy. Ann Arbor is leading the way in having created and maintained a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

What do areas of innovation aspire to?

IASP says they “expand on the concept of the science park and university environments and explore the new and even more active role of cities in stimulating growth via innovation, creating sustainable and effective working and living conditions, forming appealing urban ecosystems for students, scientists, entrepreneurs, larger corporations, investors and startups.”

How To Spot One

One way to identify an area of innovation is to recognize districts with not just a science park, but one with residential and industry components adjacent or embedded that attract more of the same. Sometimes this is the result of urban brownfield redevelopment, as is the case at 22@Barcelona, in Spain. Other times, it’s greenfield districts, as at the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Russia or the Yachay City of Knowledge in Ecuador.

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Category: Site Selection Magazine, News

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