University Research Parks: Fulfilling the Promise


  • Eric S. Oldsman Nexus Associates, Inc.


Higher Education, University Research Parks, Economic Development


The concept of university research parks continues to draw attention as communities search to find new tools for promoting economic development. Unfortunately, in many instances expectations have not been met. In part, this has been due to the fact that expectations were unrealistic to begin with, concentrating too much on the possibility of attracting major corporate facilities from outside the area. Not enough care has been given to assisting existing local firms to grow and prosper. To be successful, research parks must be guided by sound real estate principles. But they must go beyond simply offering land near a university. The real economic benefit of research parks lies in the value that universities can add to private companies. Universities must be committed to working with park tenants, making the full resources of the institution available. The article reviews the experience of university research parks and offers some suggestions to ensure that development objectives are indeed achieved.