Universities and other higher education institutions (HEIs) are an important resource network for high technology firms. In order to develop stronger links with industry HEIs have established Science Parks. To ascertain ‘added-value’ of a Science Park location in the UK the formal and informal links developed with local HEIs by independent Science Park firms are compared with the links made by a comparable group of independent high technology firms not located on a Park. Analysis of the combined sample of on and off-Park firms revealed having a link with a local HEI in 1986 was associated with survival over the 1986–1992 period. However, on the downside, empirical evidence collected in 1992/93 from firms in a follow-on sample (originally interviewed in 1986) as well as a ‘new sample’ study (independent firms that had located on a Science Park between 1986 and 1992) both revealed that the vast majority of links developed with local HEIs are generally informal ones. The policy implications of the research findings are discussed.
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