Fondazzjoni Temi Zammit is a partner in the ARCHI-NET: A virtual network of Science and Technology Parks to strengthen the growth of existent Parks to empower the competitiveness of enterprises and to stimulate the generation of New Science and Technology Parks.
The project is an action of the CIP Interreg IIIB Archimed programme. It reflects FTZ’s perceived mission of promoting crucial synergies between innovation and entrepreneurship as the foremost enabler of competitiveness in a globalised world.
The project was born from the realisation that the Archimed regions (Southern Italy, Malta, Greece and Cyprus) are conspicuously lacking in high tech enterprises and few expanded Science and Technology Parks. Moreover, the collaborations among the regions are hampered by the lack of communications and inefficient transportations, the sea barrier, and by a serious shortage of networks.
In order to eliminate these disadvantages, the project proposes a model of network among some existing innovation Parks and agencies based on the synergistic potential of mutual exchange of information, tools, expertise, technologies and relationship bent on increasing competitiveness of the territories through the diffusion of enabling technologies.
The lead partner of the project is the Science and Technology Park of Sicily. The other partners are FTZ, the Science and Technology Park of Crotone Province in Italy, The Patras Science Park of Greece, The University of Western Macedonia, also of Greece, and the Cyprus Technical University.
The partnership is distinguished by its mix of competences and approaches to innovation in support of entrepreneurship. The project will present an opportunity for knowledge transfer in the best possible transnational project tradition.
The project will also lay the foundations of a permanent Network of Science Parks, to be known as Medastep, which will be established in the Eastern Mediterranean and aiming to expanded to the whole Mediterranean Area.
One of the key objectives is to establish and facilitate a common understanding of the importance of the link between innovation and entrepreneurship. In this context, FTZ recently participated in the kick-off meeting held in Ptolemaida in Western Macedonia.
Rather as an anathema to its illustrious name, this city’s economy has centred on the mining of base lignite, or brown coal, an inferior version of the black equivalent. Too low in calorific value to warrant transporting, the lignite is used to fuel the surrounding massive power stations that together produce 75 per cent of the electrical power of all of Greece.
The city is looking to change it fortunes through the deployment of a massive project for the construction of a mega science park in a disused fertilizer plant, where research efforts will be pooled with business expertise in support of start-ups and spin-offs with real added value.
The so-called “Third Generation Science Park” represents the uniqueness of science-industry-government relations, increasingly functional and specialized along with a local, regional and global dimension. The Archi-Net project recognises that In order to play properly their role, the Parks have to work in harmony and operate within the framework of a network with firms, Universities, Research Centres, but first of all with other Science and Technology Parks in the world, and particularly in the neighbourhood regions.
With this in mind, Science Parks are encouraged to join national and international associations such as IASP, a powerful organisation bringing together 349 members from71 countries and having five regional divisions: Asia Pacific 14%, Europe 60%, Latin America 9%, North America 7%, and West Asia 8%. Only 2% of members are in Africa.
Knowledge about creating and managing science and technology parks, about business incubators, technology transfer and commercialisation, regional and local development, enables to significantly shorten learning curves and to facilitate access to one person or organisation in the global network whenever they require.
FTZ is organising a networking and knowledge transfer workshop, with the participation of the consortium’s existing science parks, namely Sicily, Crotone and Patras, as well as prospective parks. The experts will partake of their own experiences, both scientific and business, of the making of successful science parks.
The workshop will be held on Friday 28 November 2008 at 10:00am, at the Senior Conference Room, the University of Malta. Participation is free. More information can be obtained at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 23402189.
Archi-Net is a project within CIP Interreg IIIB Archimed, co-financed by the ERDF, part of the Structural Funds for Malta (2004 – 2006).