UKSPA Directory 2017 2017-18 - Page 9

UKSPA Directory 2017 009 Chairman’s letter Resolve to evolve Dr David Hardman MBE, UKSPA Chairman, believes intrinsic dynamism drives innovation ecologies W e define our diverse locations as innovation ecologies which, as with all natural ecological systems, are subject to external influences driving the need for intrinsic dynamism. We are all subject to technological, socio-economic, and political influences. These Darwinian forces determine that the most fit for the prevailing conditions will prosper or, in our parlance, become successful locations, each hosting a cluster of technology-orientated businesses. We all need to manage our ecologies. We must flex our offerings to intervene and address limiting factors which, if left, would become barriers to our client businesses, impacting on their development and standing in the way of success. If they are going to thrive, tenant businesses must adapt or be provided with the help they need to adapt, or they must move to a more benign environment better suited to their needs, or they will die. ORCHESTR ATING CHANGE We orchestrate and influence a broadly holistic offering to build, extend and update legacy strengths and create regional economic substance. This means these days we cannot be just passive geographies generating localised islands of critical mass. Instead, we must integrate with, and be active within, our local economic geographies. There is a need for change. Our current offering is, to my mind, directed towards Generation Y entrepreneurs and innovators – those “tech savvy” people born between 1980 and 2000. Gen Y are fluent in web and mobile and early adopters of new technologies, but the true entrepreneurs of the future are the “tech innate”, born since 2000. This upcoming Generation Z is a population fluent in mobile and social platforms. They communicate via images, enjoy global reach and develop friendships through virtual connections. Their outlook on life embeds technology at its heart. w e n e e d t o p r o m o t e i n n o vat i o n . T o d o t h at w e n e e d t o e n g a g e w i t h t h e b r o a d e s t p o ss i b l e m i n d - s e t s Arguably, it is these most creative and innovative young people that we should aim to foster as clients. But, they are also most likely to be at the extreme end of the new social characteristics. The old static, geographically-fixed offering is unlikely to appeal to them. CULTIVATING GEN Z APPE AL We need to promote innovation. To do that we need to engage with the broadest possible mind-sets. This directory demonstrates the current diversity of offerings and stakeholders in the science park movement today, which has been fit-for-purpose. However, largely thanks to the directed evolution imposed by the exponential digital revolution, our diversity is set to get a whole lot broader… Let’s resolve to evolve! ■