Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT)
The Pioneering Science Town in the Region
Knowledge-based economy has been a main focus for countries that are paving the road for to rapid economic success. Creating a pathway from pure science to applied technologies requires an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovative ideas from universities, research centers, and higher education institutes need to be taken to the commercial world.
Science parks and technology business incubators have been proved to be powerful means for putting technology and expertise to work to the economic benefit of the local community and in some cases, in creating an investment platform for generating financial return.
The development of science parks and technology business incubators in the Islamic Republic of Iran was initiated in 1993. Since then, science parks and technology incubators have played an important role in Iranian National Development Plans. Today there are more than 35science parks and more than 160 technology business incubators in Iran. Isfahan Science & Technology Town (ISTT) is the pioneering science town and one of the most successful in the country.
Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) has played a vital role in Iran to encourage entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, and to promote the commercialization of research results. This town is situated on 520 ha of land adjacent to Isfahan University of Technology. It started its official activity in the year 1993, and through its many years of successful experience, has become a pioneering model for the management of technology incubators and science parks across the country. ISTT is an environment in which research centers, manufacturing and service companies, and R&D centers of governmental organizations have conglomerated into a vast town. Today, it is host to more than 450 knowledge-based companies, two science parks (Sheikh-Bahaiand Abu-Reyhan), and more than 10 technology business incubators. ISTT also hosts an annual festival on technological entrepreneurship by the name of Sheikh-BahaiTechnopreneurship Festival.
As the leading and pioneering science town in Iran, ISTT is the first Iranian memberof IASP and the only Iranian member that has already hosted two of the IASP AsianDivisions and ASPA conferences in Iran in the years 2006 and 2011.
To disseminate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, ISTT started sharing its experience with other STPs on national and international levels, and then moved on to establish Isfahan Regional Center for Technology Incubators and Science parks Development, under the auspices of UNESCO (IRIS). This center has been a great vehicle to Iran for capacity building in the support of research, and in facilitating the commercialization of innovative ideas. IRIS has been successful in establishing a network among knowledge-based companies in the country and has tried to extend these relations to international grounds. Through different international workshops and meetings, IRIS has shared details of its management experience in running ISTT with the countries that are in the stage of designing and launching new science parks.
With the recent lifting of economical sanctions, Iran has ushered in a new era of social-economic relations with the world. The effect of this reemergence can be seen in the different sections of Iranian society and especially within the science and technology park community. Science and technology parks which play a crucial role in the economical development of any country with their mission to support and nurture knowledge based SME’s, have been major contributors to the facilitation of this change in Iran.
Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) as the pioneering science town in Iran wishes to be the host for the 35th IASP WorldConference in Isfahan.