Best Practices In Building Successful Research Parks

A research park is a massive investment, and some universities and cities have failed in this endeavor from lack of careful planning and ineffective management. Thriving research parks in the U.S. and abroad have been found to share common elements that resulted in their stability and sustainability. These elements form the best practices in creating and sustaining research parks.

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The project should have continuous funding through partnerships between the public and private sector, and through public policies that would attract and make it easy for investors and entrepreneurs to do business.

There must be a formal body or council that would help bridge institutions and preserve the research park vision over the long period it takes for the district to mature and stabilize.

The research park’s success also depends on the development of its “soft infrastructure” or human capital—researchers, innovators, skilled workers, entrepreneurs—which would be a result of years of public investments in education and skills training and the participation of universities and research institutes.

All these elements must be properly coordinated, organized, and planned by effective leadership and professional management, especially in networking among researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and the government. Metrics should be established to monitor progress and to gauge the effectiveness of the research park.

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An entrepreneur and R&D specialist, Dr. Russ Lea, has helped facilitate the construction and funding of various tech parks and research facilities in the U.S. To know more about his work, visit this LinkedIn page.


Hiring And Developing a Team To Improve R&D Functions

Research and development is a multi-faceted endeavor. Universities and global facilities understand that this sector requires not only technical knowledge and skill but excellent management to foster teamwork and interpersonal relations.

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The interpersonal aspect of research and development is seen as a challenge, since most professionals in this sector are often classified as introverted and of a specific personality type. Moreover, teams comprised of mostly strong characters are bound to run into some friction.

These difficulties can be addressed through common human resource paradigms. Initially, putting together a team with great dynamics is arduous. But spending on hiring and development of personnel that work well together would be cost-efficient in the long run. One of the main problems and dreaded outcomes of any university and/or group operating an R&D arm are research projects aborted due to internal problems.

Strong personalities can work together under two conditions. The first is a shared goal. Typically, inherent personality differences are ignored or forgiven when a team is pursuing the same targets. During the interview process, managers should determine how passionate the applicant is about what they would be researching or developing. Personality differences are rarely seen as hindrances to shared dreams and visions.

Second, strong personalities make a great team when the strengths are balanced. That is, each character is strong in his or her specialization, and complements the expertise of other team members.

The key here is balance. Research managers are encouraged to bring in experts of various fields to work together in a single project. Alongside fulfilling a passion for research, each professional would feel respected and acknowledged in his or her field of expertise, reducing any form of competitiveness or feelings of inadequacy.

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It is essential for managers to understand how crucial the concept of a team is in any research and development program.

Russ Lea is an entrepreneur and recognized business consultant specializing in the development of various research facilities. To learn more about the research and development industry, like this Facebook page.

The Three Key Components Of a Good Risk Management Plan

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Creating a good research and development plan involves recognizing different potentials. Where most facilities fail is their inability to develop effective and practical risk management programs. Businesses, schools, and any organization undertaking R&D projects should understand the following three components of a good risk aversion and contingency plan:

Identification: The most important step in risk management is knowing what could happen. One cannot fight what one does not know. Research professionals should be adept at singling out potential threats and risks carried by their future projects. This is a free-flowing exercise. Some proposal writers could be hampered by both the largeness and constraints of their imagination, but covering all bases, on paper, should be sufficient precaution.

Appraisal: Once this is done, researchers can assess the likelihood of risks turning into catastrophes. Experts recommend creating a chart that simplifies probability and risk analysis. Immediate threats should be expediently addressed. Conversely, other minor threats can be tackled later, although should not be shelved too long.

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Action plan: The first two components are based on ideas. However, any good risk management plan is judged by its implementation. Normally, risk management plans are rolled out during crises. Researchers should then develop plans that are practical, logical, and easy-to-implement so that its devices could spring into action during an actual event. The action plan is actually a list of threat management and mitigation measures.

Researchers can always seek the advice of crisis management professionals for failproof risk management plans.

Russ Lea is an entrepreneur and highly sought-after educator on research and development management, including crisis and risk potential. For more information on his career, like this Facebook page.

Farallon Islands: Exploring The Mystery Of The Devils Teeth

Water splashing through a jagged pillar of rocks, a place embraced by fog, giving it a certain air of mystery, and providing lurkers with eerie sensations. This description conjures a shoot location for Game of Thrones or a medieval film, but it is more real than that. This is Farallon Islands.

Located off the coast of San Francisco, California, Farallon Islands, or Farallones, is a wildlife refuge. It is home to the largest colony of seabirds in the United States.


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There are more than 400 species of birds in the Farallones. Vagrants, or birds that have gotten lost or blown to the the Farallones, can also be found in the islands.

The origin of the Devils Teeth

Farallon Islands had been nicknamed the Devils Teeth by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1539, and Portuguese mariner Vizcaino in 1591. Ever since, the place has had its peculiarity, not only because of its ambience, but because it has witnessed a lot of disasters and shipwrecks. Sailors avoid the place. The rocky shore and islets have torn down countless of ships, thus creating a watery grave for countless of sailors over the years.

Adding to its already creepy appearance is the danger lurking underwater. The Farallon Islands has become home to marine mammals, including what is called its landlord, a great white shark.


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The Farallones today

With numerous disasters recorded in the islands, the Farallones are now off limits to humans. The remote island, however, can still be observed from afar. The San Francisco Whale Tours offers whale-watching and natural history tours. People can still see humpbacks lounging offshore, as well as sea lions. Despite its bloodcurdling past, the Farallon Islands is still a sight to behold.

Dr. Russ Lea is an environment leader and entrepreneur. For more topics on research and development for both marine conservation and technological parks, follow this Twitter account.

Educating Children About Marine Conservation

There are practical and encouraging methods to tell children about marine conservation. Instead of the traditional way involving theories and long lectures, instructors can get fun and creative. Parents and educators must also have an open-mind regarding this matter to encourage the same among their children. Here are several alternative methods to get children in touch with marine ecosystems:

Go to the beach
On a day that is not so crowded, it might be fun to go to a beach with children. Show them how to keep the beach clean and talk to them about the importance of having uncontaminated seas. If there are sea creatures present, they may look at it but taking species like starfish and snails to their respective homes is discouraged.


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Go to an aquarium/ research facility
Going to an aquarium that is known for being kind to sea creatures could also be a good place to start teaching children about marine conservation. Asking the help from a marine biologist could give the adults and the kids the much-needed know-how and information. Having a professional who studied marine life could be good exposure for both teachers and students.

Teach about oil spills and damages to reefs
This may be a heavy topic but exposing children to this reality will open their eyes to what might happen if they don’t start taking care of marine life. Talking to children about this should not be overly theoretical or political. However, educators must be faithful to the facts and present possible solutions to avoid stressing out the children.


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The younger generation must be aware of what is happening to the environment. As the world faces the adverse effects of climate change, sustainable solutions must be implemented to preserve humanity’s quality of life.

Dr. Russ Lea wants people to “acknowledge strong leadership, with sensitivity to innovation and entrepreneurship.” A research and development (R&D) expert, he helps academic institutions and their faculty entrepreneurs build innovative facilities for innovative research. Some of his most successful projects include the North Carolina Research Campus, the the Coastal Studies Institute, the University of South Alabama’s Tech Park, and the South East Coastal Ocean Observing System. Visit this website for more information about his initiatives.

Convergence for the Future: Science, Technology, and Economics

Science and technology parks (STPs) bring together many fields in one center. Though it is primarily a research and development facility, STPs also encourage the involvement of corporations, academic institutions and local government. As they are the breeding ground for innovative projects and new products, they are also the venue for economic growth.

University-based STPs have also given the opportunity for science and technology students to have a laboratory where they can continually develop long-term projects while being supervised by experts in the field. With the input of companies, they are also exposed to the business side of their scientific innovations.

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Bringing new discoveries to the marketplace is no small feat with the help of multiple corporations that fund university or government endorsed projects. STPs serve as the hub for all these connections to happen. In the process, these parks create more jobs not exclusive to those in the R&D field. Other establishments such as offices, restaurants, and specialty shops also allow for more people to be exposed to the projects in the tech park. The days of the isolated laboratory is gone.

The convergence of many fields in this generation where connectivity and globalization are prioritized is a wise effort that invests in the new breed of industry movers. As influential institutions are getting involved, the desire to grow a community’s quality of living is becoming a reality.

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Dr. Russ Lea is an R&D advocate and a consultant for higher education, environmental issues, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He was part of the North Carolina Research Campus, the Coastal Studies Institute, the University of South Alabama’s Tech Park, and the South East Coastal Ocean Observing System. To know more about his new projects, visit this website.

Silicon Valley: The Region that Bred Innovation

At the forefront of research and development initiatives for the longest time now are science and technology parks (STPs), which benefit countless students, professionals, and lovers of knowledge from different fields. STPs have furthered the cause of corporate, government and academic institutions, providing social and economic growth.

Looking back to five decades ago, no one probably could have foreseen that the southern half of the San Francisco Bay Area would ignite a revolution of innovation and establish a culture of risk-taking. This is the home of high-quality researchers and engineers, tech startups and renowned companies, and exceptional schools; this is Silicon Valley.

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Early in the 20th century, the United States and the Soviet Union involved themselves in a two-nation Space Race, a competition between two Cold War rivals in supremacy for spaceflight capability. When the Soviet Union inched ahead of the United States following the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, the latter aimed to gain ground by sending the first person to the moon, founding NASA to ensure it happens.

The need for high-powered components arose, and to fulfill that requirement a firm named Fairchild Semiconductor, located in the Bay Area, began manufacturing the needed parts. Thereafter, massive technological breakthroughs spawned throughout the area, sparking the growth of the hardware, and eventually, software industry, paving the way for computers, mobile phones and Internet to unfold.

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Starting as a small science and technology park, Silicon Valley has since inspired more than 400 other parks across the globe, and with its impactful innovation, has shaped how people live today.

Dr. Russ Lea is an R&D consultant for innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, who has worked with campuses and industry leaders, offering his expertise in the construction and operation of various tech parks and research facilities. To know more about his research and consultancy experience, visit this website.

R&D leaders: Countries with the Most Number of Technology Parks

For more than 60 years, technology parks have played a vital part in key development areas of many countries. These parks are the result of collaboration among research and development experts, the government, and entrepreneurs, and have proven to be powerful measures towards exponential economic growth.


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In the past few years, these R&D facilities have amassed attention even from developing countries, creating more jobs and producing major technological advancements. There are currently more than 400 science and technology parks worldwide, with many of them located in the following countries:

United States. The U.S. is at the top of the list with more than 150 science and technology parks. Analysts, industry leaders, and even the government believe that this concept can largely contribute to the technological capacity and competitiveness of the nation. One of these technology parks is the North Carolina Research Campus located in Kannapolis, North Carolina. It is a public-private research center partnering with private sectors, universities, and health sectors, with goals focusing on agriculture, nutrition, and health. Another is the University of South Alabama Technology and Research Park, which focuses on innovation and development to bring breakthroughs to various businesses.

Japan. This East Asian powerhouse comes second with 111 science parks. These facilities have been of tremendous value not only in the phenomenal technological progress of the country but also in addressing the unemployment problem that Japan once battled. Some of the country’s most notable technology parks are the Kobe Science Park, Kumamoto Technopolis, Biwoka Science Park, and Chusei Hokubu Science City.

China. Alongside this country’s stunning economic boom is the rise of its R&D sector. China has almost a hundred science and technology parks. Some well-known facilities are Harbin High and New Technological Development Zone, Fuzhou High and New Technology Industry Development Zone, Yangling Agri-tech Demonstration Zone, and Shenzhen High-tech Industrial Park.


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Dr. Russ Lea is a research and development administrator, higher education consultant, and entrepreneur who has been instrumental in the establishment of some of the most promising tech parks in the country. Know more about his body of work here.