Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) hosted the 35th IASP World Conference on STPs (Science and Technology Parks) and AOIs (Areas of Innovation) in the beautiful and historic Abbasi Hotel from the 2nd to the 5th of September, 2018. This conference brought together experts from STPs and other AOIs, technology-based incubators, academia, the public sector and businesses from around the world to discuss and debate in depth the latest industry trends in relation to the conference theme which was “ Towards sustainable cities and communities: Fostering innovation ecosystems”.
Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Dr. Mansour Gholami, addressed the participants of the conference at its opening ceremony in which he expressed his contentment in Iran becoming the host of this international conference. Dr. Gholami also highlighted Iran’s domestic infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurism by introducing its many science and technology parks and incubators and also their strong ties with the country’s many universities.
Dr. Sorena Sattari, Iran’s Vice-President for Scientific and Technological Affairs also spoke at the opening ceremony where he elaborated that Iran has the biggest start-up community in the Middle East and has thus ventured to reduce the dependency of its economy to the oil industry by developing the knowledge-based economy within the last two decades.
Prof. Klaus Kunzmann, gave the key note speech at the conference on the role of creativity, knowledge and the arts for regional restructuring, slow regional development and spatial and endogenous economic development.
More than 500 representatives from 50 countries participated in the 5 plenary and 6 parallel sessions of the 4 day event. These sessions benefited from the expertise of speakers coming from the Science and Technology parks of many different countries in which they explained the experiences gained in their home countries in relation to the particular theme of the session.
A pre-conference seminar was also held with international participation which was designed to meet the needs of professionals who have been appointed to set up new science parks, as well as for those who were new to the industry. The seminar looked at the crucial main concepts in the inception, conceptualization, planning and management of science parks and other areas of innovation: strategic models, incubation, marketing and communication, services, governance, challenges and opportunities.
Included as a part of the side activities specially tailored for the conference attendees were B2B Matchmaking sessions intended for furthering the familiarization of Science and Technology Park representatives with the activities and opportunities of their fellow international organizations. Also an exhibition area was dedicated to the showcasing of these achievements.
The conference was supported by Isfahan Regional Center for Technology Incubator and Science Park Development under the auspices of UNESCO (IRIS) in content and execution.
The conference also benefited from the international partnership and support of PCT Cartuja, Atlanpole, Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark), and the domestic support of the Ministry of Science Research and Technology, Iran’s Vice Presidency of Science and Technology, and the many science and Technology parks of Iran.
As an outcome of this conference ISTT was able to sign 3 Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with its international counterparts from France, Spain and China. The representatives of IRIS were also able to sign an MOU with Spain, facilitating future cooperation between science parks of Iran and Spain.
The conference successfully drew to an end on the 5th of September having helped in the worldwide distribution of knowledge on how to impact the formation of new age, smart sustainable cities with the help of STPs and AOIs .