60th SPICE Meeting 92nd ICECE Work Group event

Tartu, Estonia
10 – 12 Oct 2002

The 10th Anniversary of Tartu Science Park, the first science park in Estonia, was the background of a conference held in one of the oldest European university cities. The SPICE Meeting focussed on preparing a "common positions" concerning the results of the "EU Business Incubator Benchmarking Study" and thereby to prepare the 6th Interna-tional Summit of Business Incubation Associations in Dortmund. This SPICE meetings therefore concentrated on three important topics (1) Benchmarking of Innovation Centers, (2) Quality of Business Incubators Service, and (3) Certification of Innovation Centers. Participants agreed that these topics will play a significant role for the develop-ment of business incubators and technology parks. The EU Benchmarking Study established a basis for this discussion and will influence future activities in this sector. Examples for the outcomes from the discussion were statements to be further discussed at the 6th Summit. e.g. "toolkits" are a better instrument to support development of business incuba-tors than "best practices" or "benchmarking". Participants agreed that benchmarking studies can offer important in-sight and help developing business incubators. However, such studies have to be based on a differentiated under-standing of the different t types and purposes of business incubators.