International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) 33rd IASP World Conference

The IASP World Conference is a knowledge community in action, a global gathering of 67 speakers and a record-breaking 1,600 delegates visiting the 2016 event, including leading government, business and innovation figures from 56 countries. The last few days have demonstrated just what can be achieved when innovators and innovation managers from across the world collaborate.

Skolkovo Technopark, MSU Technopark and Technopark Strogino, with the support of Moscow City Government, recently hosted the 33rd IASP World Conference in Moscow, Russia on September 19th -22nd 2016. With the theme of “The Global Mind - linking innovation communities for internationalization, sustainability and growth,” this conference deepens our understanding of how science parks (STPs) and other areas of innovation (AOIs) can use the Global Mind for the benefit of their innovation communities as well as for their cities and regions.

Held in three different venues – Skolkovo Technopark, the World Trade Center and MSU Science Park, it showcased the flourishing science park and area of innovation community in Moscow, fast becoming one of the biggest tech hubs in Europe. It is the first time an IASP World Conference has taken place in Russia, recognising its growing role in the international innovation community.

Network highlights

Opening Ceremony and keynote speakers

The event began with an impressive opening ceremony lead by the IASP President, Jean François Balducchi (Atlanpole, France) who welcomed delegates to Russia alongside IASP Director General Luis Sanz.

Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev also addressed the Opening Day, praising the progress of the Skolkovo project and recognising the great value of IASP as a global network for supporting internationalisation and innovation. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich also visited IASP Moscow, holding a round table event with key experts from science parks and areas of innovation around the world including IASP President Jean-François Balducchi and European Division President Jari Lauronen. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Moscow also took to the stage, emphasising the city’s commitment to global entrepreneurship.

The first day’s keynote speaker was Saku Touminen (Finland), founder of the Idealist Group one of the most successful Finnish independent TV production companies, who focused on the role education can play in inspiring future global innovators. The closing day heard from Neil Gershenfeld (USA), Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, who echoed the theme of education with a look at the FabLab network which helps brilliant students to flourish outside the conventional school system.

IASP Inspiring Solutions

During the Winter Symphony gala dinner on September 21st, the IASP Director General Luis Sanz announced the winners of the IASP Inspiring Solutions Programme 2016, as voted for by IASP members.

The three winners are:

  • Connecting the dots to accelerate innovation, presented by Utrecht Science Park, The Netherlands
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship - Technova PreAccelerator, presented by La Salle Technova, Spain
  • Innovation Lift «schoolchild-student-entrepreneur», presented by MSU Science Park, Russia

Inspiring Solutions is IASP’s knowledge sharing initiative which gives visibility to innovative ideas in science park and area of innovation management, and seeks to inspire other members. This year the programme attracted 29 entries from across the world, 9 of which were shortlisted by an expert committee to go forward to the members voting round.

Full details of the three winning entries are available at

2018 Conference destination announced

The IASP General Assembly was held on 22nd September, where IASP Full members approved the candidature of Isfahan Science and Technology Town, Iran, to host the association’s World Conference in 2018.

Open Innovation Marketplace

Alongside the scientific programme, 50 entrepreneurs and representatives from hi tech innovative startups based in science parks across the world presented solutions for the city of Moscow and major Russian corporations, focusing on the Smart City sectors of:

• eHealth

• Cleantech

• Industry

• Smart Society

• Technology

• Governance

• Energy

• Mobility

• Sustainable City

50 selected solutions had the opportunity to pitch their projects directly to Moscow City Government and the corporations, with 10 finalists meeting directly with potential investors.

Robotics & VR exhibition

A robotics and Virtual Reality exhibition was held alongside the World Conference at the International Trade Center on September 20th, where cutting-edge robotics companies showcased their products to science park representatives from all over the world. Growing startups and SMEs will found new markets and business niches and establish business relations with investors and heads of major corporations.

New IASP President

Outgoing IASP President Jean-François Balducchi handed over the Presidency to his successor, Josep Piqué, Executive President of La Salle Technova, Spain. Mr Balducchi began his term in 2014 at the IASP World Conference in Doha, Qatar, and led the Opening Ceremony at IASP Moscow, officiated at the General Assembly, and welcomed new IASP members during the ‘Winter Symphony’ Gala Dinner before formally handing his presidential medal to Mr Piqué during the Closing Ceremony on September 22.

Mr Piqué already has a long history with IASP, and begins his term as President following two years as Vice President. He leads the IASP International Board, which is made up of 14 members from 13 different countries and which meets twice a year.

About the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP)

IASP is the worldwide network of science parks and areas of innovation, founded in 1984. With 385 members in 72 countries, IASP connects professionals managing science, technology and research parks (STPs) and other areas of innovation from across the globe, and provides services that drive growth and effectiveness for members.

IASP members enhance the competitiveness of companies and entrepreneurs in their cities and regions, and contribute to global economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the transfer of knowledge and technology.

IASP is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and a founding member of the World Alliance for Innovation (WAINOVA).

For further information about IASP, please visit

IASP’s mission

To be the global network for science and technology parks, and other areas of innovation, driving growth, internationalisation and effectiveness for our members.

Main facts and figures

Founded: 1984

Members: 385

Companies: >142,000

Countries: 72

Regional divisions:6 (African Division, European Division, North American Division, Asia-Pacific Division, Latin American Division, WANA (West Asia North Africa) Division)


  • World Headquarters: Malaga, Spain
  • Branch office: Beijing, China