iv. Scientific and technological parks

Scientific and technological parks are the ideal setting for promoting knowledge transfer and innovation.

In the case of the Balearic Islands, the international campus project we are presenting promotes collaboration in regional development and innovation through actions coordinated with the University-Company Foundation of the Balearic Islands (FUEIB) and the Balearic Islands Government. Various programmes have been set up, such as the technological developers programme, the research appraisal programme, the RESET programme to encourage an entrepreneurship and the programme to set up spin-offs. This action is being carried out in the business incubator at the Balearic Islands Technological Innovation Park (ParcBit) and the Minorca Bit Centre, both of which are adjacent to the university campuses of Palma and Alaior. The UIB has signed specific collaboration agreements with each of them to promote and develop innovation and transfer actions related to the campus of excellence project. Another objective of this project is to extend and internationally expand the research appraisal programme by setting up the UNIVALUE company with the G9 group of universities.

Number of companies and employees in ParcBIT

ParcBit covers an area of 1,416,000 m2, 255,000 m2 of which has building permission. It has 18 buildings housing 131 companies with 2,500 employees in the specialist fields of software, consulting, services, biotechnology, audiovisuals, aeronautics and navigation. The link between UIB and ParcBit strengthens the existence of the 15 spin-off companies set up by the university, the incubation and development of which has been carried out in such park. The construction should be pointed out in process of a UIB building in the ParcBit, which will house university institutes.

The government’s promotion in creating business clusters such as Tourism.T, which includes most of the major companies belonging to hotel federations and associations of hotel chains, which the UIB participates in, also means a guarantee can be provided for overall synergy with the major tour operators, which will be able to apply research advances in the field of Sustainable Tourism through CIDTUR. ParcBit also contains the clusters of new technologies applied to tourism (TurisTEC), the audiovisual cluster, the navigation cluster and BIOIB Biotechnology, which are members of the Campus of Excellence project

In the case of the University of Gerona, the Scientific and Technological Park of the University of Gerona (PCiT) is the main player promoting economic development based on knowledge and technology. The PCiT contains 26 research groups and 7 technological and research centres with their own legal status, 76 companies (20 of which have arisen from the public research sector) and 13 various institutions. All in all there are more than 120 agents involved in research, innovation and technology, of which 1,300 are full-time employees. Many of these players work in the campus’ specialist fields. Below we will provide a few examples, which are also intended to show the role that scientific and technological parks play as Innovation Ecosystems. The UdG’s park includes the Catalan Institute for Water Research, which we have mentioned above. It also includes the Underwater Robotics Research Centre (CIRS), which has achieved worldwide prestige and is highly active in setting up spin-offs and covers two of the themes proposed for the Campus of Excellence. Moreover, three years after it opened, the park already housed 76 companies. 20 of these are from the public research sector and one of them has closely followed the perfect path for this type of technology transfer. Abbiotics, a spin-off that works on health and food matters, has recently become one of the first companies listed on the Alterative Stock Market (MAB). Other spin-offs have been acquired by leading companies. Sisltech is a company in the business of applying artificial intelligence techniques to improve waste water treatment plants, which stemmed from the Environmental and Chemical Engineering Laboratory, also located in the Park. Sisltech has recently been acquired by the Besós Consortium. An example of another of the themes proposed for the Campus of Excellence is the Wikiloc start-up, which was set up by students from the University of Girona. Among other recognitions, it should be highlighted that this internet initiative has been awarded a prize and was selected by National Geographic for the best sustainable tourism project among 611 projects from 81 countries.

The PCiT is responsible for promoting relations and producing synergies and collaboration with the various players in the process and with business assets and institutions in the surrounding area. It also provides and offers incentives for all these players and connection with the global surroundings. The park’s aim therefore consists of creating, developing and laying out an attractive physical area (buildings and surroundings), a set of scientific and technological infrastructures and services related to innovation and technology that provide differentiating competitive factors for technological companies based on the knowledge it contains.

The PCiT’s facilities are included in six buildings with a ground area of 35,000 m2 on a 75,000 m2 plot of land, which combines the space used by various kinds of customers and shared services. The Jaume Casademont building houses various Research and Transfer groups and projects, the Integrated Research Departments and the business incubator. The Business Centre is a technological building equipped with state of the art facilities and communication services that allow research tasks and development to be carried out in an ideal setting. The Underwater Robotics Research Centre (CIRS) is one of the leading centres in robotics and underwater research in Europe. The Dietary Biotechnology Centre’s activities focus on research and transfer related to food matters. The Narcís Monturiol building houses the CIT-Media Company Centre and the Visualisation, Virtual Reality and Graphic Interaction Research Centre (VIRVIG) and the Digital Image and Multimedia Production Centre. Two important initiatives are currently being completed in this building, which will provide differentiating features to the Park, the University and the territory: On the one hand, the SPURNA Centre (Research and Innovation in ICT & Media Technologies), promoted by Barcelona Digital and the company Lavinia. On the other hand, two specialised 3D technological platforms, with a joint investment of about 2 million Euros: The 3DLab and 3DTV. These platforms create a joint working area for all the research groups of the University and the companies in the sector. Finally, the H20 Building is the headquarters of the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA).

The PCiT has relations with the various players involved in its work, such as the CDTI, the Association of Spanish Scientific and Technological Parks and the Network of Catalan Scientific and Technological Parks. The PCiT also belongs to the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), one of the main international associations of scientific and technological parks. An international network of parks has been set up that provides useable space so that companies from these parks may temporarily move to others (there are currently agreements with 5 European parks). Landing programmes (to attract international companies) are also being developed, as well as the International Head Hunting Programme, in collaboration with the Provincial Council of Girona. In just eight months these two programmes have led to 6 international companies setting up in the park. The aim is to create a setting, a space, with close links to the local area but that is completely connected and open to the world, which gives it an international scope and ability to attract knowledge. The theory is that parks are the best agents for creating this connection between local and global aspects and this is one of the strategic objectives of the UdG’s park.

Finally, we would like to highlight the Consortium of Territorial Business Incubators. This consortium being set up marked the start of a territorial project aimed at promoting technological and service companies being set up in all the regions of Girona, encouraging new business projects being developed in the territory. The consortium’s main objective is to strengthen and make territorial business incubators known. Its purpose is to take advantage of the great potential for generating ideas and provides all the tools needed to help new entrepreneurs with their projects.

Proyecto financiado por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte en el marco del Programa Campus de Excelencia Internacional

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