Evaluating Innovation Centres in Germany: Issues of Methodology, Empirical Results and International Comparison
This chapter begins with a brief list of criteria used to define innovation centres. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the establishment of innovation centres has become one of the most popular instruments among local and regional technology policymakers in Germany. Supply availability in innovation centres is based on subsidised and, thus, inexpensive rental space and central services, which eases the difficult start-up phase of young, innovative businesses by reducing the fixed costs. The use of quantitative methods requires that a computable model for innovation centres be developed with the help of a series of simplifying assumptions. In Eastern Germany many innovation centres are still in the start-up and admission phase and the level of utilisation with respect to rental space was eighty four percent on average. As in the British and American science parks context, active support in German innovation centres has shown little success so far.