Firms' perceived benefits of shared facilities on Dutch science parks: empirical evidence

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Science parks as area developments have existed for decades and have captivated the attention of academics and policy-makers for their supposedly positive impact on resident organisations and regions. To date there is mixed empirical evidence to indicate the performance enhancing effects of specific science park features on research & development, economic output or improved collaboration between users. Furthermore, limited attention is given to the demands and perceptions of science park users. This study focuses on one of the main features of science parks, namely the shared facilities and services on-site and how users perceive the benefits of these facilities. An online survey is distributed to 594 resident organisations on eight science parks in the Netherlands to which 112 participated. Within the questionnaire respondents are inquired on organisational characteristics in order to distinguish tenant types through clustering on aspects, such as R&D activity, organisation size, sector diversity. Then respondents indicate the benefits they perceive for specific presented shared facilities and services retrieved from science park literature based on their importance. Finally, respondents indicated meaningful associations between shared facilities and benefits. Results show that among resident organisations three distinguishable clusters emerge; ‘non-R&D organisations', ‘R&D start-ups', and ‘R&D small-medium enterprises' with each cluster mentioning different benefits that they value . In general, knowledge sharing and on-site collaboration are most frequently mentioned as important science park benefits and are mostly associated to training programs and information access. Both ‘R&D start-ups' and ‘non-R&D organisations' value the opportunity to be near customers for different reasons, while ‘R&D small medium entrepreneurs' perceive social events as a means to be close to the university or other higher educational institutions. The associations between various types of shared facilities and benefits that residents seek provide insights for practitioners in terms of the design and management of science parks and add to the body of knowledge of science park literature.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018
Event25th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference (ERES 2018) - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201830 Jun 2018
Conference number: 25


Conference25th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference (ERES 2018)
Abbreviated titleERES 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • science parks
  • perceived benefits
  • facilities and services
  • real estate
  • the Netherlands


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