Assessing the role of UK Science Parks in foreign TMT firm site-selection
: exploratory firm-level evidence from the M4 Corridor, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire

  • Selwyn S. Seymour

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Technology, Media and Telecommunications firms (TMTF) constantly search for sites in locations that provide best access to talent, customers, markets and suppliers. The UK is a 'most favoured destination for European FDI and the world’, with a full complement of sites, including Science Parks (SPs), Business Parks and specialist properties. This research analyses site selection in foreign TMTF that ‘landed’ in the UK in 2011/2012, and settled in the M4 Corridor (M4C), Oxfordshire or Cambridgeshire, three of the UKs most technology-intensive sub-regions. With contrasting economic geographies and histories as poles of political, economic and institutional activity, and differing levels of SP penetration, the sub-regions present classic cases in how to attract technology. Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire are well defined as discrete geographical areas, with world-renowned centres of basic and applied research excellence, successful innovations and a history of policy interventions, inter alia. The M4C is less well defined geographically, with less evidence of research and innovation but a more recent history of inward migration and growing reputation for mature Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). This exploratory research examined site selection issues from a new perspective to engage with all key stakeholders to uncover the role played by science parks. The research makes several new contributions to science park research, including a conceptual framework that captures the nexus of issues around TMT site selection and UK science parks (including unfamiliarity with a key SP construct (development strategy); a clear typology of TMT firms based on a priori knowledge of SPs (suggesting a disconnect between SP additionality and claims, and TMTF initial siting preferences); the SP strategy most commonly deployed; the most popular reason(s) for siting in SPs and for not siting in SPs); and a differentiated and improved understanding and explanation of the settlement pattern of foreign TMTF in the target sub-regions.
    Date of AwardJan 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDavid Jarvis (Supervisor), Nigel Berkeley (Supervisor) & Clive Winters (Supervisor)

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