Setting up, managing and evaluating EU Science And Technology Parks - An advice and guidance report on good practice
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Science and technology park (STP) activity across the EU has approximately doubled over the last 11-12 years, driven by the growth of the longer standing parks and the emergence of new parks. There is now an estimated 366 STPs in the EU member states that manage about 28 million m2 of completed building floor space hosting circa 40,000 organisations that employ approximately 750,000 people, mostly in high value added jobs. In the period from 2000 – 2012 total capital investment into EU’s STPs has been circa €11.7 billion (central estimate). The central estimate of total capital investment on buildings for those EU STPs that secured ERDF was €5.6 billion, of which approximately €1.6 billion was ERDF giving a 3.6 leverage ratio. Approximately 70% of all STP investment made in areas where STPs believed ERDF was accessible to them were assisted by ERDF finance. In addition, during the same period, STPs have expended circa €3 billion on the professional business support and innovation services they either deliver or finance to assist both their tenants and other similar knowledge based businesses in their locality.
Increasingly, the reasons why STPs are sound investments for public sector support are becoming better understood and articulated. The evidence base shows that better STPs are not simply the landlords of attractive and well specified office style buildings. Rather, they are complex organisations, often with multiple owners having objectives aligned with important elements of economic development public policy as well as an imperative to be financially self-sustaining in the longer term.