Published: July 1, 2009
Cover Story: Science and Research Parks
View full article at: http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2009/jul/cover/
As the United States government enters the fraught territory of company ownership and "industrial policy," it might do well to consider its own infrastructure of national facility complexes as a growth engine too. National laboratories, NASA research centers, military bases and health centers pack their own brand of economic impact. The research and science parks in proximity to those complexes are prime spots for corporations to do their part.
On the 10th anniversary of its inception, Sandia Science & Technology Park (SS&TP) was recognized by the Association of University Research Parks as its Outstanding Research Park of the Year for 2008. It was the first time the AURP had so honored a park that was not affiliated with a university. But its affiliations with Kirtland Air Force Base and with neighboring Sandia National Laboratories carried plenty of weight.
"When we started 10 years ago, Sandia knew nothing about how to start a research park," says Jackie Kerby Moore, the park's executive director and a career Sandia National Labs employee. In an interview conducted at the annual global conference of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), she says coming to such gatherings helped her see that a park established with a world-class, intellectual property-generating R&D institution such as Sandia could follow the university model. It didn't hurt that Sandia already had over 100 industry partners across the nation.
She also learned that other parks at national labs were at various stages of development, including parks near NASA Ames in California, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Richland, Wash., and Los Alamos in her own state.