In September, the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) at its annual conference in Nantes, France, saluted the winners of its annual IASP Inspiring Solutions program, the organization’s knowledge-sharing initiative which puts the IASP quality seal on innovative ideas in science park and area of innovation management, builds up a global library of best practices, and seeks to inspire other members.
The three winners, as voted for by IASP members around the world, were:
1st place: Lakeside Science & Technology Park, (Klagenfurt, Austria), for “Digital Kindergarten — Lakeside IT Curriculum.” The Digital Kindergarten prepares the next generation for challenges and opportunities of the digital era, and the correct usage of digital devices via an educational program in the ideal surrounding of a science & technology park. The Lakeside IT curriculum is a whole curriculum, running from kindergarten through primary school and on to high school.
2nd place: Lakeside Science & Technology Park’s slogan translates to “One and one is 11,” and that numeral also features in the IASP competition’s second place winner, “Level 11 — New Level in Innovation” from Technopol Science Park Tallinn in Estonia. Level 11 connects progressive Estonian corporations with local start-ups to encourage joint innovation initiatives. Eighty corporations and 70 startups were engaged, resulting in innovation events, 1:1 matchmaking, innovation audits, company visits and an Innovation Leaders’ Club. The ultimate outcome is eight success stories of collaborative R&D and product development.
3rd place: Parque Tecnológico UFRJ, (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): “The Short Circuit Gallery of Public Art (Galeria Curto Circuito de Arte Pública).”The Short Circuit Gallery of Public Art is an initiative of the UFRJ Science Park and the School of Fine Arts to transform the park into a live laboratory for experimental art that mixes technology and innovation.
Other finalists included Shanghai Caohejing Hi Tech Park, (Shanghai, China); Technoport Luxembourg (Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg); Techparks Arizona, (Tucson, USA); Tecnopole Parque Tecnolóxico de Galicia, (Ourense, Spain): Tecnosinos, (Porto Alegre, Brazil); Turku Business Region, (Turku, Finland); and Västerås Science Park (Västerås, Sweden):.
Full details and links to the three winning solutions, the 10 finalists and previous years’ winners can be found at www.iaspinspiringsolutions.com.
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.