Panacea or Illusion: An Empirical Analysis of European Science Parks in the Case of Follower Regions

Par Alexandre Almeida, Óscar Afonso, Mário Rui Silva

Science and Technology Parks (STPs) have been a key policy instrument in promoting the clustering of science and high-tech firms in a particular territory and have been perceived as the solution to accelerating structural change and innovation performance within a region. Hence this policy instrument, despite the variety of conceptual approaches underlying its use, gained much popularity and benefited from significant investments across European regions and especially follower regions, which were attempting to catch up. This paper addresses these issues by discussing the many interpretations of a science park and attempting to contribute to a unified definition by studying the role of these policy instruments within the innovation system framework, and by analyzing a set of 55 science parks in the UK, Spain and Portugal to highlight key functions commonly associated with better performing parks.
JEL Codes: O30

  • Science and Technology Parks
  • Regional Innovation Systems
  • Innovation System Framework
  • Cluster Analysis
  • European Regions
  • Follower Regions.
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