Many of our Members are increasingly engaged in international activities whether it be through European funded projects, ad-hoc twinning arrangements with like-minded colleagues in other countries, or entertaining the numerous delegation from overseas science parks and areas of innovation. There is an international dimension to the work of UKSPA and for the first time we have recently been involved as a partner in a European project, and investigated the development of MoU’s with a number of overseas organisations.
Whilst UKSPA is still first and foremost a UK based Membership, we encourage international Members to be part of our network in order that we are able to share our experiences and enrich our own knowledge of ways in which science parks and innovation environments are developing overseas.
UKSPA in China
In 2012 an UKSPA delegation was visiting Shanghai as part of a British Council initiative to explore the linkages between the UK and Chinese Science park sectors. This coincided with the very welcome news that Zhongguancun Science Park - one of the leading technology centres in the world - had joined as an international member of UKSPA.
Over the last two decades, the Park has gathered together nearly 20,000 high and new-tech enterprises and attaches great importance to the exchange of information and strategic cooperation with other science parks.
Zhongguancun Science Park now has seven overseas offices: in Silicon Valley, Washington, Tokyo, Toronto and London, whose purpose is to strengthen the relationship with overseas students, foreign institutions and high technology enterprises, and to attract talent and resources within technology, capital, information and marketing.
As part of our partnership with Chinese Science Parks, Dr Malcolm Parry (Honorary Chairman of UKSPA) and others from UKSPA visited Shanghai to cover techniques for efficient science park management, international technology transfer, and approaches for multimedia and biomedical park development.
The Minister for Universities and Science, Rt Hon David Willetts MP commented that the UK Government is keen to take advantage of the UK and China’s complementary strengths. He supports the work that UKSPA is doing in China, and hopes that UKSPA will work with the UK Government to build cooperation between organisations in UK and China.
“The UK is widely respected around the world for our research and innovation,” said Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science. “By supporting the development of innovation capacity in other countries we can make it easier for UK businesses and universities to build links with counterparts overseas. The UK Science Park Association is a good example of this. Their work with the Chinese Association of University-based Science Parks has been highly valued by the Chinese Government.”
UKSPA has established a relationship with science parks in China over the years, and initially delivered a training development programme in a number of China’s science parks several years ago.
Recent years has also seen a an UKSPA presence in New Zealand after Association CEO Paul Wright made a brief visit to New Zealand, courtesy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and hosted by our most distant Member, Waikato Technology Park. New Zealand has a wealth of research and knowledge across a number of sectors, and we are keen to cement more northern / southern hemisphere trading and partnering links between both our tenants and our Members.
Welcoming International Delegations
The Association also has regular contacts from visiting Groups from across the globe and has organised a number of study tours and presentations to ensure that the experience and knowledge held by UKSPA is shared.
If you are interested in finding out more than please do contact the UKSPA Executive team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.