While many people are foreign to the concept of science parks, they are undeniably important. They have impacted lives in incomprehensible ways, mostly unknown to the average consumer. In North America alone, there are over 380,000 workers in science parks, but the purpose still seems to be unknown. But I’m going to walk you through their importance so that you may appreciate them (or start one of your own).
What is a Science Park?
Essentially, a science park is a piece of land, often on a university grounds, that plays host to a huge variety of science and technology research facilities. The idea is that clumping researchers in a similar area can cross the information between sciences or lead to collaborations. Sometimes they can inspire each other to bread innovation.
There are science parks all over the world, though primarily in developed countries. There are far too many to list here, but the amount is surprising. Here in Europe, there are hundreds of science parks.
The first university research park was started in the 1950s near Stanford University. Do you know what that is called today? Silicon Valley. Having placed technology research facilities together has brought mankind into the forefront for computer technology. Without the science park there, we may not have the technology we have today. The Internet was launched there. What would the world look like today without the internet?
Sometimes the parks are just helps for startup businesses, allowing universities to use new companies to help them do work, while giving them the space to do their own personal research and business.
What is an Advantage of a Science Park?
Innovation breeds innovation. By putting together people who all have a common type of goal, perhaps curing a disease or building a super computer, but who are in slightly different fields, the innovations of one research group will inspire another. This can have a ping pong affect until something remarkable is produced. Keeping like-minded people together who are working toward a goal can only encourage that goal to be successfully reached.
How Can Science Parks Change the World?
Outside of the great things that have already been produced from science parks, they are now changing the world in new ways. Innovation breeds the need to create sustainability; either through products, foods, or energy, innovation will attempt to help change the world.
The Hong Kong Science Park, for example is dedicated to the latest green technology and building design. They are working together to eliminate carbon emissions and create sustainable construction. This kind of collaboration is a catalyst to innovation and the further development of creating sustainable technologies. This of course, can only improve the direction the world is going in, by aiding in eliminating pollution and carbon footprints.
Here in Austria, not far from Villach, we have the Lakeside Science and Technology Park, which hosts researchers from the Austrian Institute of Technology, Aplen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (working in electronic services), AMSC Austria (working on environment and energy as well as engineering), the Institute of Ecology, and so many more. We are working together as a research unit to drive further innovation into creating sustainable sciences for the world.
Be thankful that science parks exist. There are so many researchers driven for a common purpose that change our lives daily. It’s a thankless job; no one knows who you are specifically or how you contributed to a project, but the researches are dedicated nonetheless, knowing that whatever contribution they give will actually help create something worthy of dreams.