In June of each year the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) holds its annual World Conference at a new and exciting location. Science and technology parks around the globe vie for the opportunity to host this conference that literally travels the world. IASP members have been hosts of the conference for the last 28 years offering a unique opportunity of blending diverse cultures with the sharing of knowledge and innovation trends from around the world. The Research Triangle Park knows firsthand, given their successful IASP 26th World Conference held in the Research Triangle Region in June 2009 in which we hosted over 800 attendees from 58 countries. The conference commemorated the Park’s 50th year anniversary and included a reception at its newly built Research Triangle Park Headquarters in the heart of RTP.
Since leaving North Carolina, the success of these conferences has continued and this year was no exception. Copenhagen, Denmark hosted the IASP 28th World Conference from June 19 – 22, 2011. Copenhagen is strategically located in the heart of Medicon Valley; the third largest biotech area in Europe and home of more than 60% of the biotech industry in Scandinavia.
Roadmaps for Future Navigation, was the theme that centered around new ways to securing growth and the role to be played by science and technology parks in responding to the global challenges. The conference was hosted by two of Denmark’s finest science and technology parks, Scion DTU and Symbion. The 550 attendees from 55 countries gathered for 2 and half days to network, exchange ideas and learn from the esteemed panelists and white paper presenters. The conference offered rich discussions centered on People & Competences, Economics & Policies and Technology & Innovation. It was an opportunity to learn from the leading science and technology park managers, entrepreneurs and academia but if you missed the conference you can still view all the presentations at the official conference website located here. One particular presentation I found of interest was by David Rowe from Warwick Enterprise in the UK entitled Accelerating Client Growth that lays out a strategic route to science and technology park sustainability.
This year the Research Triangle Park was among the panelists where Liz Rooks, Interim President and CEO, presented the white paper, Nurturing Knowledge Ecosystems (Click here for a copy of the presentation). The paper celebrates the over 52 years of success the Park has brought to the state of North Carolina but also focuses on what needs to be done to continue to create places to spark innovation. With the current work from the Master Plan, RTP is positioning itself to address the current challenges it faces and to ensure that RTP continues to be one of the leading research and technology parks in the world.
Although all of the IASP members had to say goodbye last week to Copenhagen, Denmark and their gracious hosts at Scion DTU and Symbion next year they will all convene for the IASP 29th World Conference in Tallinn, Estonia where there will no doubt be another successful and innovative conference.