Towards a segmentation of science parks: A typology study on science parks in Europe

W.K.B. Ng, H.A.J.A. Appel - Meulenbroek, M.M.A.H. Cloodt, T.A. Arentze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although science parks are established globally for decades as an innovation policy instrument to foster growth and networking, there is limited attention given towards research into possible types within these real estate objects. Prior attempts in categorising science parks are characterised by the limited number of cases and/or variables. Science parks are believed to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic value for firms and regions. Past academic research showed mixed results on these performances and it is reasoned that distinct types within science parks exist that might explain these unclear results. We argue that before we can grasp what science parks can do, we should know what they are. Therefore, a survey on science park characteristics was completed by 82 science park managers in Europe. A cluster analysis was conducted which grouped the 82 participating science parks in three types; ‘research’, ‘cooperative’, and ‘incubator’ locations. Next, differences and similarities of these three types within science parks in Europe were analysed as a basis for advancing the academic debate. The types provide further understanding of science parks and offer researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers a means to compare, market, and benchmark science parks more adequately.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-732
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster analysis
  • Europe
  • Innovation policy
  • Science park
  • Segmentation


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