The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) has released its latest Global Survey, a comprehensive report on the state of play and current trends in our industry. The data was gathered over the course of 2021 with 113 STPs from almost 50 countries responding, with the final publication including more than 100 charts and tables that give insight into the STP industry.
The urban nature of STPs are highlighted, with more than 84% of respondents finding themselves located in cities of various sizes. This highlights the relevance of links to local governments, businesses and civil society, as well as the importance of an urban location in attracting knowledge workers to the STP. This is particularly reinforced by the fact that of the minority of respondents not located in a city, 63.2% are based near a large city.
The increasing role of ‘the private’ was also shown in this report, with 49.6% of respondents having either private or mixed ownership. This is particularly common in Africa and North America where mixed ownership is the predominant model, and marks a change from the 2018 publication in which almost 60% of respondents reported to be publically owned.
The report also analyses in depth the main technology sectors in STPs, with again, ICT being the most common sector. Present in 82.3% of STPs it shows the importance of the computing sector to our industry, something further reinforced by the fact that the next most common responses were the computer science and software engineering sectors.
Exclusive for this publication is a bumper chapter on the effects of COVID-19 on the industry. It explores the ways in which STPs adapted, the economic impact of the pandemic, support residents received and the ways in which management teams adjusted. Respondents were also asked about their future expectations, with a resounding 95.6% anticipating stability or growth for the future, something which highlights the strength and adaptability of the industry.
The Global Survey also looks at STP infrastructure, budgets, funding, specialisation, services, companies, and much more. IASP full members can read the publication for free, whilst others can purchase it here.
WAINOVA member the Basque Country Technology Park Network (RPTE) – made up of Alava Technology Park, Bizkaia Science and Technology Park and Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park – is currently home to impressive technological advancements in the space sector. Its Tekniker Technology Centre is developing a system that can exploit Mars’ unique climatic conditions to produce methane, which can then in turn be used as rocket fuel.
It is expected that this innovative system would allow exploration missions to produce their own supplies for lengthy stays, thus reducing the amount of materials that would need to be transported there. This in turn will reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with getting to Mars, and allow crews to operate more independently.
The technology centre is working closely with the University of Cantabria as part of this project, and will collaborate together on a number of experiments to see which materials work best before finalising a design for a prototype. Rigorous testing will then be done before it is potentially sent to Mars, where the atmosphere is more than 95% carbon dioxide.
Many barriers remain before we see this innovative technology on the red planet, but its outcomes are extremely exciting. Not only would they have an impact on Mars but on life on Earth too, as this system could recycle carbon dioxide thus reducing emissions and climate change. Perhaps then, a solution to the climate crisis comes from the Basque Country, via Mars.
To read more about this project click here.
64% of people surveyed by Ipsos claim to have a good understanding of what AI is, but only half trust companies in the AI sector as much as other companies. These figures depend massively on the country, with just 41% of Japanese respondents claiming to have a good understanding of AI compared to almost 78% in South Africa.
Much of this trust correlates with familiarity with AI. With 60% of respondents expecting AI products and services to profoundly change their day-to-day lives over the next five years, companies in this sector can be confident that this expansion will lead to a higher number of people who trust AI companies.
The trust in AI companies also has a strong correlation with the economic development of a country. Nations with emerging economies such as China, Saudia Arabia and India have a large majority that trusts businesses that use AI (76%, 73% and 68% respectively), whilst in the Global North only around 1 in 3 people do. Respondents from Canada, France, the USA, the UK and Australia all polled between 34% and 36%.
These trends continue when asked if AI-powered product make lives easier and have more benefits than drawbacks. What is clear, however, is the hugely positive future for AI companies. The regions and nations which trust and value this technology the most are those where populations and economies are growing rapidly, meaning huge markets for their products.
To read the full Ipsos survey click here.
According to the UNESCO Science Report 2021, women are underrepresented in a vast number of STEM fields such as mathematics, physics, computing and digital information technology.
In artificial intelligence for example, women account for just 22% of workers, and also make up just a third of researchers worldwide. Cloud computing is another sector that is dominated by men, with just 14% of the workforce being made up of women.…