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The 36th IASP in Nantes: Learning from Science Parks around the World


The Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park team of the Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) participated in the 36th International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) in Nantes, France. During the event, the team and the executives of the Southern Taiwan Science Park Bureau exchanged ideas with science park organizers from around the world. Together, they joined conferences and visited the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study (IAS-Nantes) and Hangar 32, learning about their innovative and experimental urban development strategies.

STPI representative (right) photo with executives of the Southern Taiwan Science Park Bureau (left) and Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (middle)


This year, the IASP conference featured “The 4th Industrial Revolution: Areas of Innovation and Science Parks as Key Boosters for a Successful Transition”, with a focus on future technologies and trends of digital development. More than 400 participants gathered at the conference to discuss the potential impacts of technological development on the area of innovations, innovation districts, and science parks. They also exchanged ideas on how to harness the advancement in technology to create a new ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

STPI representative visiting a stand at the conference


Through discussions, the team learned that though there were differences in innovative developments, the goals were similar: nurturing technology start-ups and expanding co-creation networks. Therefore, the experiences of other countries can provide helpful guidance to the development of science parks in Taiwan. For instance, digitization and AI tools have influenced the development of technologies, with science parks gradually integrating into cities. Moreover, science parks often work with neighboring academic and research institutions to recruit and retain talents. In addition, many science parks organize promotional activities and establish cooperating platforms for the industry, the government, and academia to create an innovative environment. Connecting with local businesses and institutions across various fields also helps build a robust ecosystem for innovation. These trends and advancements observed by the team are undoubtedly worth learning.


Besides, two institutions in Nantes are crucial in its development: the IAS-Nantes and the Nantes City Lab. The former provides an inspiring environment for interdisciplinary and inter-cultural innovations, while the latter dedicates itself to creating smart cities. Thanks to the effort of these two institutions in integrating the technologies and the humanities, Nantes was crowned the 2019 European Capital of Innovation. Taiwanese science parks could learn from the success of Nantes for future developments in the research institutions.