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Evaluation of Hillington Park Innovation Centre: final report
The Hillington Park Innovation Centre (HPIC), jointly run by Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire (SER) and Caledonian Land, aimed to provide high quality business start-up and incubation space for firms deemed to be ‘innovative’, thereby growing the number of innovative / technology firms in Renfrewshire and attracting different types of firms to Hillington. The evaluation aimed to assess: the achievement of objectives, targets and impacts; the application of the Balanced Scorecard and the performance of HPIC against its key measures; the benchmarking of HPIC against the CSES benchmarks; the relationship between HPIC and SER; the usage and quality of service; the application for grants; the impact on the Centre on small inward investment cases; and the strategic fit of the project. The evaluation also presented a summary of the future requirements of the project to operate successfully.
The methodology consisted of: a background/inception meeting; desk research; consultations; a team review; client research; synthesis and analysis; SER presentation; and final report. The evaluation was undertaken concurrently with a report on the Hillington Wireless Innovation Centre.
Overall, the project has made good progress against each of the objectives that were set for it by the Enterprise network. It is unlikely that HPIC is displacing private sector business provision significantly. Suggests that firms based at HPIC are more innovation focussed than the norm. Broadly speaking, firms rated the facilities highly. Presents a table of quantitative benefits. Concludes that HPIC has made good progress against its Balanced Scorecard targets and outlines how HPIC can maintain momentum by placing emphasis on firms offering growth potential. Concludes that risks to growth include sudden loss of key personnel and ‘creep’ – subtle changes over time which affect performance.
Recommends SER investigate whether the outstanding balance of unused Rental Guarantee can be retained as a contingency against future letting decline. When appraising firms, suggests that HPIC assesses the likelihood of the firm benefiting from advisory services and engaging openly with staff, and that it should issue a concise ‘terms of engagement’ to new firms. Notes that HPIC should consider improving communication to Scottish Enterprise and other partners. Recommends that HPIC: provide better support in some areas highlighted by the survey; and keep Intellectual Property (IP) support under review, with the possibility of terminating provision if dissatisfaction continues.
Full Report (903 KB, doc)
|Consultant||O'Herlihy and Co Ltd|
|Theme/Sector||Company specific, Business infrastructure, Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship, Enterprise, Company building, Innovation|