Entrepeneurialism, education and training : a case study of South Bank Technopark.
This thesis describes the genesis, evolution, and function of a unique
institution: London's South Bank Technopark, in the period 1979-92. A case
study of this incubator, innovation centre, and Science Park has revealed
several unexpected aspects of its activities. The most notable of these has
been the degree of educational and training activity in the Technopark --
both formal and informal - which set it apart from other UK Science Parks,
and provide a link between the Technopark and its inner city environment.
The multimethod case study involved a largely ethnographic survey of the
Technopark's management and tenants and related personnel,
supplemented by reference to the Technopark's archives and management
file. The study was concluded with a comparative phase of fieldwork
involving in-depth interviews with senior figures in seven other UK and US
science parks, and in the international science park movement. In all, 67
interviewees in six categories were interviewed in a total of 168 interviews.
Entrepreneurialism in the Technopark was investigated via interviews with
tenant firms and an intensive study of the management team, enabling key
factors in the enterprise process to be identified.
The Technopark compared favourably with similar institutions visited as an
incubator of new firms, and a creator of jobs and job opportunities via on-site
education and training. Models of science park activity have been
constructed, from which it is seen that the Technopark is part of an
evolutionary continuum leading to science cities and the Multi Function
It is concluded that not only is the Technopark a commercial success; it is
also a model inner city incubator, innovation centre, and science park which
has brought the benefits of new knowledge based businesses and job
creation, as well as innovative training and educational programmes, to a
deprived urban area.