Science Park or Industrial Estate?

It has long annoyed me that some RDAs, and other agencies, set up what they call Science Parks, Innovation Centres, Business Parks, or something similer, but have no formal links with universities or other educational establishments; no formal business networking structure; no business angels network; no links with larger companies or bodies which encourage collaboration, or spin-outs. Without these they are just industrial or business estates.

I was interested to see that Kent Science Park, near Sittingbourne, says that it offers not only space but proper business support (with networking events, arranged talks by experts and specialists, and business ‘clinics’), on-site laboratory skills training accredited to foundation degree level, co-operation arrangements with regional and national universities, as well as a business angels network. They also have someone on the ground who’s job it is to make this work. This sounds more like it, but I haven’t had direct dealings with them so it would be interesting to hear from buisnesses who have worked with Kent Science Park to verify how far the talk gets followed through by action on the ground.

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