At present, there are many different forms of technopark structures in the world. Between some of these forms there are fundamental differences related to different functional purpose, specific organizational form, range of tasks to be solved, while between other technopark structures the difference is more of terminological nature, sometimes related to the characteristics of the development of innovation infrastructure in a particular country.The main three groups of technopark structures can be identified:
are multifunctional complexes that provide a variety of services to new innovative firms at the stage of emergence and establishment.
In other words, incubators are designed to "incubate" new innovative enterprises, assisting them at the earliest stages of their development by providing information, consulting services, rent of office space and equipment, and other services. An incubator usually occupies one or more buildings. The incubation period of the client firm usually lasts from 2 to 5 years, after which the innovative firm leaves the incubator and starts independent operations.
The concept of technopark
is quite close to the concept of incubator in the sphere of innovation activity. Both of these elements of innovation infrastructure are complexes designed to promote the development of small innovative companies, to create a favorable, supportive environment for their functioning. The difference between them is that the spectrum of firms-clients of technoparks, unlike incubators, is not limited only to newly created and at the very early stage of development innovative companies. Small and medium-sized innovative enterprises at various stages of commercialization of scientific knowledge, know-how and knowledge-intensive technologies use the services of technoparks. In other words, technoparks are not characterized by a strict policy of constant renewal and rotation of clients, which is typical for incubators in the field of innovation activities.
Besides, incubator complexes are usually located in one or several buildings. Technoparks, on the other hand, usually have plots of land that they can rent out to client firms for the construction of offices or other production facilities.
Therefore, technoparks, as compared to incubators, provide a more diverse innovation environment, allowing for a wider range of services to support innovative entrepreneurship through the development of material and technical, socio-cultural, informational and financial base for the establishment and development of small and medium-sized innovative enterprises.The main structural unit of a technopark is the center. Usually, the structure of a technopark includes:
- innovation and technology center;
- training center
- consulting center;
- information center;
- marketing center;
- industrial zone.
often also called a science city or a science town, is a large modern scientific and industrial complex, including a university or other higher education institutions, research institutes, as well as residential areas equipped with cultural and recreational infrastructure.
The purpose of building science cities and technopolises is to concentrate scientific research in advanced and pioneering industries and to create a favorable environment for the development of new knowledge-intensive industries in these sectors. As a rule, one of the criteria that a technopolis should meet is its location in beautiful areas, harmony with natural conditions and local traditions.
Russia has a number of rather successful examples of creation and development of technopolises. Among them are Pushchino, Dubna, Obninsk.