Back to the future of high-technology fantasies? Reframing the role of knowledge parks and science cities in innovation based economic development

Paul Benneworth, Tiago Ratinho

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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    Abstract

    This paper deals with the question of whether it is possible to construct deliberately a new science district in an old industrial region. The focus for the paper is to ask whether it is possible to find a way to strategically co-ordinate the various partners in the project to configure developments in ways that deliver real economic benefits for the firms on the science park. The paper explores how urban science projects become spaces where various stakeholders seek to fit their own particular interests in innovation and territorial development, and at the same time, the success that these strategic projects – in which the participating businesses‘ interests are one of many competing interests – have in helping to support knowledge spill-overs which support local business innovation. The paper draws on a case study from one region, Twente, in the East of the Netherlands to examine the reality of the fulfilment of the strategic ambitions for a new knowledge district. The paper finds that there is a mismatch between the political ambitions and the economic reality, but at the same time that firms and policy-makers appear to regard the project as a success. The paper then reflects on this apparent cognitive dissonance and what it might mean more generally for the apparent rise of strategic urban science as one of the new policy repertoires of strategic urban management.

    Conference

    ConferenceRegional Studies Association European Conference 2012
    CountryNetherlands
    CityDelft
    Period14/05/1216/05/12
    Internet address

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