Internationalisation of science and technology parks and the stage of their life: The Central European perspective

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24136/eq.3085

Keywords:

science and technology park, internationalisation, life-cycle stage

Abstract

Research background: A science and technology park (STP) is an important tool of innovation policy. In order to carry out new tasks in the field of internationalisation of innovative processes, parks have to incorporate completely new ones into their classic roles and activities. There is still a low level of knowledge about the factors that limit this process. The identified research gap provided the rationale for addressing the issue of the internationalisation of parks in Poland, which is an original treatment of the issue and probably one of the first such studies in Central Europe.

Purpose of the article: The purpose of the article is to diagnose the stages through which the internationalisation of science and technology parks takes place in the context of the phases of the life cycle of these organisations, as well as to identify and assess the importance of obstacles limiting the internationalisation process.

Methods: A critical analysis of the literature and direct research was carried out using the survey method, according to the author's questionnaire. The research was carried out in 2022 among 18 STPs in Poland (55% of all Polish parks). The diagnosis of internationalisation was made on an institutional level. Three phases of the park life cycle were defined and operationalised based on the criteria identified by J. Allen (2007): creation, consolidation and maturity phase. Ward’s agglomeration method (Ward, 1963) was utilised to group the parks based on the level of actions realised in their life cycle and their degree of internationalisation. In the identification of the number of groups, the Duda-Hart (Duda et al., 2000) Je(2)/Je(1) index-stopping rule was used. Thirteen of the most important obstacles to the internationalisation process were identified. In order to examine the internal consistency of variables describing the internationalisation of parks, Cronbach’s Alpha reliability index was calculated. In order to find out the strength and direction of the existing relationship between obstacles and the internationalisation index of the studied parks, Kendall’s τ test was used.

Findings & value added: The sequential development of parks at the national level is in line with the assumptions indicated in the literature. The problem, however, is the internationalisation of parks. Not only is it characterised by a low level, but its course also does not indicate that it is the result of the successive implementation of previously assumed activities. The processes of development and internationalisation are interrelated, but this is not a significant interdependence. The problem is also indicated by the results of studies relating to obstacles to the internationalisation process. This is because the most significant ones are diagnosed only at an advanced level of internationalisation. Such an important activity of parks is undertaken without a prior in-depth diagnosis of the international situation. This can result in limited effectiveness of the activities undertaken in the direction of internationalisation and generate related problems. The results of the study provide a basis for indicating the type of activities aimed at activating parks in the international arena. Such activities should be undertaken at a higher level than the parks themselves since they do not have sufficient procedures and resources to guarantee increased internationalisation. One desirable course of action could also be the creation of cooperation networks at different territorial and entity levels.

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2024-06-30

How to Cite

Lizińska, W., Sobol, D., & Rūtelionė, A. (2024). Internationalisation of science and technology parks and the stage of their life: The Central European perspective. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 19(2), 549–590. https://doi.org/10.24136/eq.3085

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