What is a Science and Technology Park?
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.
How does a Science and Technology Park achieve its goals?
- It 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.
How does a Science and Technology Park differ from a Business Park?
- It differs significantly from a ‘Business Park’, while still having a strong real estate basis;
- It directly interacts with its tenants and the outside community to bring ‘added-value’;
- It is a facilitator of collaboration and cooperation, key to building a more innovative environment.
Do other countries use science and technology parks to stimulate innovation?
Science and technology parks have been used throughout the world to nurture innovation. The idea of using science and technology parks to create homes for innovation has been around for 60 years. Silicon Valley, for example, was originally created as a science and technology park. South Korea has the Daejeon Science and Technology Park and is recognised as a world leader when it comes to innovation, second in fact to Singapore.
How does a focus on innovation help stimulate growth?
- By offering university students an environment where they can collaborate with other skilled individuals to further their ideas.
- By offering regional businesses a platform to network with these students and any other companies that may already have research and development units working on similar projects – they could then be that much closer to turning these ideas into products for the market.
What kind of business clusters will be located at ELIDZ’s STP?
There will be the creation of a Research and Innovation Agenda for both the ELIDZ and the Eastern Cape Province as a whole and it is hoped that businesses involved in technology relevant to this RIA will locate within the ELIDZ precinct.
What was the thinking behind establishing or housing a Science and Technology Park at the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ)? Why here as opposed to anywhere else in the Eastern Cape?
One reason was to be able to create home-grown companies that are knowledge-based and that would, when mature, become tenants in the IDZ itself. In this way the ELIDZ offers a “place to grow” as internationally this has proven to be a success factor for science and technology parks (STPs). When they are ready, STP tenants are more likely to move to the IDZ if there is space than leave the area entirely.