The multidimensional role of science parks in attracting international knowledge migrants

Franziska Eckardt

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    244 Downloads (Pure)


    There is a tendency to think in primarily economic terms (e.g., economic and financial opportunities) when considering how major science, technology and business spaces, also known as science parks (e.g., Silicon Valley, USA; Science Vale, UK), attract international knowledge migrants (IKMs) from the global knowledge economy. However, other elements that make places attractive for IKMs to achieve desirable standards of living are often not sufficiently addressed in the recent literature. Using a single case study of the Dutch science park Novel-T, this paper investigates how science parks can deliberately be created to attract and retain IKMs using a new multidimensional model for understanding the attractive effects of science parks on human capital. The fieldwork element involved 20 semi-structured face-to-face interviews, which were analyzed using a narrative analysis technique. The results of the case study show that science parks should be understood as multidimensional networks that trigger both a social attraction effect for IKMs as well as regional economic development and growth. The importance of the spatial design of science parks as well as the creation of a highly international atmosphere were found to be two influential factors in attracting IKMs to a particular science park in a peripheral region. Moreover, the results show that the deliberate construction of a science park with four intended operational effects is not a simple and controllable process, since some operational effects (e.g., external recognition) appear to be more controllable than others (e.g., internal social dynamics).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)218-226
    JournalRegional studies, regional science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2017


    • global knowledge economy
    • human capital
    • multidimensional model
    • spatial design
    • science parks
    • peripheral region


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