Although science parks have been around for decades, there has been a rapid escalation in interest in real estate dedicated to science and technology, particularly life sciences.
“What you see happening is that companies realise more and more that if you want to bring new products, new processes, new technologies and new platforms to market, you cannot do it all yourself,” BCI Global president and CEO René Buck explained.
Companies’ R&D strategies are increasingly aiming to co-operate with universities, relevant technology institutes and with new start-ups in an atmosphere of “open innovation”, Buck said.
“Then it becomes more interesting to be close to each other, so even if these companies are not part of your own corporate R&D activities, being close to each other helps. So that’s a reason why we see, all over Europe, the growth of technology parks, science parks, campuses, innovation quarters – whatever the name is – because proximity to each other, everybody with their own capabilities, facilitates and fosters collaboration.”
That collaboration ultimately leads to smarter, cheaper, faster solutions and R&D results, Buck adds.
Science and technology firms have acknowledged that they cannot expect to have all the intelligent people for new products on one payroll which provides another driver for working in close proximity and it is easier to work with somebody across the road than 10,000 miles away.
The creation of technology hot spots is apparent on Buck’s home turf, the Netherlands, for example. There are already a number of mature science parks and up-and-coming technology parks. And, as has happened in the logistics sector, these concentrations are of interest from the real estate perspective, and the science and technology sector is quickly becoming a distinct asset class.
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