Research Parks Create Jobs and Economic Growth
From the AURP Website www.aurp.net
Research, science and technology parks are catalysts for job creation. As communities look for ways to create jobs and drive economic growth, many are finding innovation to be a key element.
“University research parks are having a major impact on their communities – by creating high-wage jobs,” said Kevin Byrne, AURP President and the Chief Operating Officer of the University Financing Foundation.
One example of this is the Purdue Research Park Network. According to a recent economic impact study, the park network is responsible for a $1.3 billion annual impact for the State of Indiana and “more than 4,000 high-tech, high-quality jobs paying an average annual salary of $63,000 – 65 percent higher than the Indiana average.” Indiana isn’t the only community with this kind of success story.
North Dakota State University Research & Technology Park generates $10.9 million annually for local and state governments. And according to a recent economic impact study, the 19 businesses located at the RTP account for 893 direct, on-site jobs and another 551 indirect, off-site jobs.
“Start up companies are the real job creators in a community,” said Byrne. “That’s why research parks are so effective - they help launch new companies and create high-wage jobs by giving entrepreneurs and researchers access to business training, a qualified workforce and access to the university faculty and students.”
The University City Science Center in Philadelphia has done just that. The Science Center’s supportive capacity has helped to leverage Greater Philadelphia’s world-renowned cluster of university and research institutions, spurring technology-based regional economic development. According to an economic impact study, the organizations that have originated at, passed through, and received mentorship from the Science Center have created tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions in earnings, and billions in output for the regional economy. Of the 350-plus graduate organizations referenced in this study, the 93 that remain in the region employ 15,512 people; the Science Center’s 37 current incubator residents employ another 174. These highly skilled jobs command an average wage of $89,000, contributing $22.0 million to the City of Philadelphia in wage taxes and $42.5 million to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in income taxes annually. Each employee also supports an additional 1.68 jobs throughout the region due to indirect and induced economic demand.
Byrne added that one of the most important roles of the research park is creating job opportunities for future generations. “We can’t tell our children that we can educate them here but then when it comes to finding a job, they’ll have to move somewhere else,” said Byrne. “The research park is a catalyst for jobs so that we are able to educate our children and then, upon graduation, provide them with quality jobs that are local – that’s pretty powerful.”