Dr Malcolm Parry

Dr Malcolm Parry

Dr Malcolm Parry OBE, Managing Director, Surrey Research Park

Entrepreneurship, policy and science parks

Dr ParryThe increasing interests of the science park movement across the UK and other parts of the world reflects the imperative for science and technology to be translated into commercial opportunity.  Or as some have said, places where science goes to work.  Over the last 30 years what started out as a number of local initiatives, often created by universities, have caught the interest of many governments which have begun to recognise the importance of these projects and woven them into policies to support economic development.

What lies behind these policies is the recognition of the need to increase the rate of return on investment in higher education, and research and development by driving innovation.

Those in the science park movement have long understood the importance of the role played by entrepreneurs in this initiative. However, it is only in the last seven years that many governments have started to realise the importance of these science park entrepreneurial enablers and formalise their thinking about them in economic development related policies.

The combination of providing funding for the UK’s research base, if the output can demonstrate impact, meeting the aspirations of the Witty report of creating areas of significant specialisation in research, and the need to utilise entrepreneurship to gain a competitive advantage all combine to present science and technology parks with an increasingly important role for the future.

Three Point Summary:

·        Does Government recognise the need to increase the rate of return on investment in higher education, and research and development by driving innovation?

·       Do governments recognise the importance of science park entrepreneurial enablers?

·        How do we utilise entrepreneurship to gain a competitive advantage and ensure STP’s that play an increasingly important role for the future?