This paper critically analyses the recent fad for using technopoles and as key economic growth drivers stimulating innovation dynamics in particular territories. Conceptualising technopoles as “knowledge community precincts” creating science-park style benefits, we characterise these benefits as creating proximity between participants. Studying a typical science city, Kennispark in Eastern Netherlands, we discover that geographical proximity is much less important than social, cognitive or institutional proximity to Kennispark academics. The paper argues that local dimension to technopoles requires further analysis, and policy should focus on embedding local firms more actively in technopoles’ knowledge communities.
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