In Scotland there is 240,098sq.m. of high quality accommodation comprising the stock of the science park market and existing parks cover almost 330 hectares. Biotechnology, e-commerce and the knowledge sector have underpinned the boom of science parks in Scotland.
Research & Development has begun to emerge as a property phenomenon in the form of science parks, of which there are now around 75 across the UK. With a 30-year history, science parks are primarily the result of commercial spin-offs from the main Universities and have emerged as mainstream private sector developments.
Already in Scotland there is 240,098sq.m. of high quality accommodation comprising the stock of the science park market and existing parks cover almost 330 hectares. Biotechnology, e-commerce and the knowledge sector have underpinned the boom of science parks in Scotland.
There are strict user clauses control the tenant line up and many science parks often adopt a bias which mirrors the strengths of the University or areas which are new and expanding, where there are a number of research projects, i.e. IT and Bio Science.
The UK Science Park Association, the representative body, describes a science park as a â€˜business support and technology transfer initiativeâ€™, providing the â€˜intellectual and physical infrastructureâ€™ to achieve this. The physical infrastructure and not just the buildings but the integration of communications, IT and business support services.
The knowledge and biotech industries demand specialist sites with this type of infrastructure. They require the highest standards of environmental quality needed to attract their top calibre educated staff. Nearly all science parks have incubator space, with some sites developed for single occupiers, with the private sector becoming increasingly involved in creating the next tier of space for these companies to expand and grow.
In many instances, there is a direct link to a university, which almost certainly has a huge benefit. Stirling University Innovation Park is situated to the north of Stirling town and forms the eastern edge of Stirling Universityâ€™s 300-acre campus. Although not next to a university, Alba at Livingston had the backing of 4 of the main Scottish Universities for the Institute of System Level Integration. There are now 3 buildings plus the Cadence facility offering shared facilities. In addition the new West Lothian College offers master courses which have the backing of the Institute.
Scotlandâ€™s first science park was established at Edinburghâ€™s Heriot Watt University, which has seen c20,000 sq ft of its existing stock re-jigged via lease extensions and renewals. This park is now one of 8 science parks in Scotland accredited by UKSPA. In total there a total of 12 sites of science park status and these are summarised in following table.