Science Parks and Local Knowledge Creation: A Conceptual Approach and an Empirical Analysis in Two Italian Realities

  • Roberta CapelloEmail author
  • Andrea Morrison
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Thanks to their ability to perform knowledge-related tasks such as diffusing knowledge locally, promoting high-tech firms, establishing links between knowledge-creating bodies (e.g. universities, research centers) and knowledge-exploiting bodies (e.g. public and private firms, local institutions), science parks have long been considered efficient instruments of industrial and regional policy (Jones 1996; Martin 1997). They were expected to enhance the diffusion of new and advanced technologies/knowledge among firms, and consequently boost the competitiveness of firms and regions. At present, a significant number of studies show that most science parks have failed to perform their intended function (Appold 2004; Massey et al. 1992; Quintas et al. 1992; Vedovello 1997). Many reasons have been attributed to this failure. An important reason is the erroneous and misleading belief that simple geographical proximity between sources of knowledge and local firms is sufficient to foster the widespread spatial diffusion of information, technologies and new ideas (Macdonald 1987; Vedovello 1997). Another reason is the peculiar governance structure of science parks: in fact they may address as many objectives as there are main stakeholders, which in turn may lead to inconsistent policies (Monk et al. 1988; Löfsten and Lindelöf 2002).


Small Firm Absorptive Capacity Knowledge Spillover Local Firm Local Labor Market 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge financial support from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (FISR project entitled “Efficiency and Effectiveness of Science Parks”) and research contributions from the partners of the project (University of Genova, Pisa Research Centre, Liguria Science and Technology Park, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Economics and Industrial EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversità del Piemonte OrientaleAlessandriaItaly
  3. 3.CESPRI, Università BocconiMilanoItaly

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