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Universities' Research Parks


This report addresses ways in which the ASU Research Park and the UA Science and Technology Park can become financially viable and generate more relationships between park tenants and the universities. Although the research parks were planned to become financially self-sufficient, both have needed assistance from the universities. In particular, ASU has transferred $7.5 million to its park since fiscal year 1990 and UA has paid $2.5 million of its park’s start-up and operating costs. Even the most successful research parks nationally have struggled for many years before achieving financial self-sufficiency, in part because the pool of potential tenants is limited by entry restrictions. Although ASU’s park was unable to lease land during some past years, it has leased significant amounts of land to new tenants during recent years. The report recommends reevaluating the ASU park’s occupancy progress after three to five years. The report also recommends that management at both parks use other strategies to attract tenants, such as developing more effective relationships with university faculty as contacts for potential tenants. In addition to working toward financial self-sufficiency, the report recommends that the research parks develop stronger links between tenants and the universities. One strategy to facilitate more effective tenant-university relationships involves enhancing ties between the parks and the universities’ technology transfer offices. Another strategy involves park management meeting more frequently with tenants to determine their research needs and interests.