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Role of Science and Technology Parks in Biotech industry development

Science and Technology Parks (STPs) are significantly contributing to the development of competitive regional systems supporting birth and growth of small size biotech companies largely making up the Italian scenario.
Location in a STP is often a first choice for a new-co start-up focusing on research and development profiting from a favourable habitat that offers technology platforms, competences and collaboration opportunities on a complementary skilled base going beyond the institutional role of leading, promoting and coordinating activities coming from research and business.

Parks promote the transfer of innovative knowledge and competences, contribute to a synergic use of resources, enhance the exploitation of the research and development potential in the regions mediating between demand of knowledge coming from companies and supply of technology and science innovation coming from universities and public and private research centres.
This mediating role in the tech-transfer activities gives to the Parks a privileged position in monitoring what happens in the large and small biotech companies world. Therefore STPs are containers of experience and useful information to approach common problems among companies engaged in the research and development of new biotech products while exposing themselves to the international competition.

Strategies and common actions of the Italian Bio-parks are shared and achieved within the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) on Biotechnologies, a working group where experts coming from Assobiotec (the Italian Association for the development of biotechnologies, set up within Confindustria-Federchimica Italian Industrial Associations) and from the Italian Network of Science and Technology parks (APSTI) work together sharing common aims.
The Committee creates synergy on the activities developed among the Italian BioParks community, composed by thirteen Italian Science and Technology Parks leading actions on biotechnologies applied to industrial sector, health and agro-food.

Table 8.1 Number of biotech companies located in Parks or Incubators (Source: Ernst & Young)

Science and Technology Park - Incubator Enterprises, research institutes, consortia
Sardegna ricerche (Cagliari)  30
Bioindustry Park  S. Fumero (Ivrea)  28
AREA Science Park (Trieste)  27
Parco Tecnologico Padano (Lodi)  14
Toscana Life Sciences (Siena)  13
Parco Scientifico Romano (Roma)  6
Parco ScientificoTecnologico della Sicilia - PSTS (Catania)  5
Parco Scientifico Tecnologico Luigi Danieli (Udine)  4
Pont-tech (Pisa)  2
Total  129


Most of these are small and micro enterprises whose core business is R&D and it is to these companies that the BioParks Italian initiative is aimed.

1 In Table 8.1 there are two units less, since two of the companies considered have more laboratories incubated in various parks
2 For the purposes of our estimate, did not consider enterprises with autonomous head office but which have laboratories that operate inside the Parks, since it is not possible to separate the revenue they generate


Localized enterprises

Within the Italian Science and Technology Parks operate a total of 127 among enterprises, research institutes and consortia, active in the field of Life Science (Table 8.1)1. Following Ernst & Young definition of biotech company, 113 companies were identified bearing a total turnover of approximately € 87 million2, investments in R&D for € 147 million, and over 600 employees involved in the R&D sector. These are small business entities, still in the starting phase, but with a high potential pipeline of products.