University of Twente Student Theses


Building a “magnetism” for international knowledge migrants through a science park : the case of Kennispark Twente.

Eckardt, Franziska (2016) Building a “magnetism” for international knowledge migrants through a science park : the case of Kennispark Twente.

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Abstract:In this master thesis, I explore how policy-makers can deliberately create science parks in the 21st century as “magnet infrastructures” to attract and retain international knowledge migrants from the global knowledge economy. Using a narrative method to analyse creators’ and international knowledge migrants’ narratives of everyday material practice in one science park, the Kennispark Twente (Knowledge Park) in the east of the Netherlands, I propose a new conceptual model, exploring the social as well as economic effects of science parks in the 21st century. Moreover, in order to understand the internal dynamic processes of science parks as social places, I add Wengers’ (1998) concept of “Community of Practices” as an analytical lens to the existing knowledge-based urban development literature. With the help of my second proposed conceptual model, I explore the wider multilevel “magnetism” of science parks as well as the way how international knowledge migrants acquire particular local connections and entanglements with the local physical structure of a science park. The study results show that science spaces’ wider “magnetism” is not solely based on an economical dimension, but also on the unique place-related culture and identity, which forms a science park’s knowledge community precinct. Science parks therefore seem to operate multi-dimensionally and should be understood as complex social architectures that create internal social dynamics over time through its actors’ interaction in local community of practices. In addition, due to these communities of practices, a science park can create both a local-global “magnetic infrastructure” for international knowledge migrants as well a local buzz for regional economic development and growth. The results suggest that policy-makers could benefit by thinking more carefully about ways to establish science parks with both traditional economic factors (e.g. sufficient transportation routes, career opportunities) as well as social factors (e.g. lifestyle amenities, nature, and diverse cultural offers) that support the creation of an international space environment and therewith the involvement of international knowledge migrants in a science park’s local internal social dynamics.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:74 (human) geography, cartography, town and country planning, demography, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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