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Part 3 : Resolution : Incubators

A key interface between the the University and the local economy is the Salford University Business Incubator. What is an 'Incubator' and how does it work?
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Salford University Science Park is located adjacent to the northwest side of the campus, on the B6186 Frederick Road. It is owned and run by the University and serves as an independent stream of rental income and also provides the required facilities for new business spin-offs from academic work. The park features 26 separate units ranging from 62sqm to 506sqm in size, with 150sqm being the average size.

Technology House is home to more than forty organisations, predominantly knowledge-based enterprises, with particular emphasis on technology and media-related activities. The established companies occupy the greater part of the offices available, and through the extensive networking that takes place within the building, help create an enterprise culture that assists and encourages the development of the new businesses who are housed alongside them.

The United Kingdom Science Park Association define a 'Science Park' as follows:

"A science park is essentially a cluster of knowledge-based businesses, where support and advice are supplied to assist in the growth of the companies. In most instances, science parks are associated with a centre of technology such as a university or research institute."

They also indicate that a 'Business Incubator' has a slightly different function:

"Business incubators provide intensive, hands-on support and services to assist specifically in the creation and early-stage growth of businesses. The services include help with business planning, raising finance, marketing support and mentoring. A business incubator offers this type of support together with small units on flexible terms, and enterprises selected are those able to best benefit from support. They are normally encouraged to leave the incubator after about 2 years, when they have acquired a strong skills base and management experience."

The most intriguing aspect of this phenomena is the fact that the physical space required for the process is entirely generic: it simply requires a volume. A 'Science Park' or 'Business Incubator' is, in essence, simply a set of specialized support services. This raises questions about hoe the physical manifestation of a Business Incubator is determined, and whether there is any reason it could not function equally well is disparate spatial conditions.

It is this premise upon which the following project is based. If the nature of a Business Incubator is overwhelmingly defined by the services it provides, rather than it's physical form, what potential might there be for the redefining of defunct urban typologies in the surrounding area as the demand for Business Incubator space inevitably continues to grow.
Salford University Science Park Plan

University of Salford Science Park

University of Salford Science Park


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