21st Century Vision: Developing a Global Sustainable Science and Technology Park Strategy and Creating Economic Development Worldwide

Bruce M. Haxton, AIA, LEED® AP and Fred Meade


The world is faced with numerous global problems. Among the potentially threatening and severely debated are: economic recession, ecosystem decline, carbon dioxide pollution, climate change, energy crisis, over population, extensive poverty in developing countries, food crisis in under developed countries, epidemic diseases in developing countries, depletion of resources worldwide, and pending clean water shortage.

Parallel to addressing these monumental issues are unprecedented opportunities: unprecedented economic cooperation among the G8, BRIC, and G20 countries, worldwide understanding of ecosystems and sustainable concepts, creative concepts in carbon dioxide pollution reduction, global research and analysis on climate change, development of sustainable concepts for energy and resources, world organizations developing population control principles, creation of new plant and food technologies, refinement of medical research solutions for medical problems and diseases, and development of advanced water purification systems.

How do we orchestrate the delivery of solutions to solve the world's problems?

By using the world network of science park organizations International Association of Science Parks, Association of University Research Parks, China Association of Science & Technology Industry Parks, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation we can focus national economic development, education, and technology solutions to solve the numerous problems and create a vehicle for the creation of dynamic programs in both the developed and underdeveloped regions of the world. The technology is available to communicate, trade, and travel worldwide. By initially using communication systems located at science parks we can enhance economic development, education and research worldwide.

What is needed is a strategic plan to focus the collective world wide science park community on solving problems in a synergistic manner. By solving sustainability problems worldwide with technology we are:

  • Developing cooperation worldwide
  • Creating economic development in different regions tailored to those local conditions
  • Solving health problems worldwide
  • Reducing food problems for developing countries
  • Using our resources efficiently and recycling

Creating more pure water systems for future generations. Programs addressing these situations have the overreaching effect of creating more stable social and political environments as well.

The research paper explores the global ecosystem trends, science park trends, research and development trends and synergistic opportunities to meet these challenges. The research paper documents a potential plan to promulgate and implement the development of this global sustainable science park initiative worldwide.

It is important to note, that fundamental to the objectives of this paper, an initiative for global cooperation was established in 2003 in Montreal, at the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Under the auspices of the IEDC, more than a dozen international development agencies, including IASP, signed the “Montreal Accord,” an agreement among these agencies to promote multinational cooperatives agreements in all aspects of economic development, especially in science and technology. To that end, IEDC and IASP are engaged in their first cooperative conference programs at the 2009 IEDC annual conference at Research Triangle Park, in Charlotte, NC.

Global Trends: Ecosystem decline, climate change, rapidly rising world population, extreme poverty for over one-sixth of the world's population, nanotechnology revolution, and changing national power structures among others.

Science Park Trends: Green planning and design for science parks, science parks for national and regional economic development, worldwide science park competition for technology companies, nanotechnology integration into science parks, science park mixed-use campuses or “life-style campuses” (live, work, play and educate), and development of technology incubators.

Technology Trends: The following are technology trends in the world's research laboratories: Robotics use in research, growing sophistication in imaging, nanotechnology research, environmentally sensitive product design (cradle-to-cradle), focus on telecommunications and satellite based transmission, nanotechnology used in medicine delivery systems, nanotechnology technology incubators, lower ambient environments due to higher resolution instruments, and convergence of technologies based on nanotechnology.

Identification of Synergistic Opportunities: The following are synergistic opportunities to be investigated: science park relationships worldwide in both developed and developing countries, biotechnology and nanotechnology resolving pollution problems, development of drought resistant plant systems, global ecosystem repair and maintenance, nanotechnology research for future building products, in-field- use healthcare diagnosis for developing countries, biotechnology solutions for “orphan health-care drugs," population planning solutions for under developed countries, educational opportunities bundled with science park development worldwide, and distance science and technology learning opportunities worldwide coordinated with science parks.

Worldwide Plan of Action: The science park community can act as a leader in bringing various countries and regions together and develop a comprehensive plan of worldwide economic development centered on science and technology as a future driver of economies. The following plans would be needed to develop a comprehensive development strategy for sustainable science park growth into the future: Technology Strategy for Science Park Synergy, Sustainable Strategy Plan, Economic Development Plan, Education Plan, Funding Parameters Plan, Scientific Focus and Sharing Plan, Food Development Plan, Healthcare Standards and Plan, Resource and Recycling Plan, Population Planning Plan, and Monitoring of the Action Plan.

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Bruce M. Haxton, LEED AP, is a senior project manager/design architect and acts as a consulting architect. He has worked on numerous building types: research laboratories, healthcare, office buildings, performing arts centers, housing, data center, education facilities, airports, and research campuses. The projects ranged from a few hundred thousand dollars in construction value to $1.4 billion. He has been involved with many science campus and laboratory projects for both private and government clients. He holds an National Council of Architectural Resgitration Boards (NCARB) certificate, is a registered architect in numerous states, and holds a Master of Architecture, advanced studies degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Over the past 15 years he published over 40 articles and research papers and spoke at six International Association of Science Parks (IASP) World Conferences and numerous national conferences.