Measuring Social Capital: The Case of the Technium Network in Wales

Measuring Social Capital: The Case of the Technium Network in Wales

Lyndon John Murphy (Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK) and David Higgins (University of Liverpool, UK)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7721-8.ch013

Abstract

This chapter will offer a unique insight to the existence of different forms of social capital at the Technium network. The exploration of the wider Technium network outcomes such as social capital is likely to be of benefit to private sector firms, innovation policymakers, and innovation program managers. As a result, this offers a distinctive insight to the desirable intangible facets of innovation policy. Arguably, activity at Technium centers contributes to less tangible objectives of creating virtuous circles of social capital. In particular, evidence of bridging social capital is exposed. The work helps to develop conceptual and theoretical foundations for identifying different forms of social capital. The chapter will offer a unique analysis of the Technium network. The analysis of technology policy via a measurement of resultant social capital has not been previously undertaken. As a result, this chapter offers a distinctive insight to some of the desirable intangible facets of technology policy.
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Context: The Technium Network

It was launched in 1999 and its first facility opened in 2001. The Technium has its roots in a partnership established between the Welsh Development Agency (now subsumed into the Welsh Assembly Government) and Swansea University. Initially funding to support the Technium was sourced from European Union Structural Funds, Swansea University, public sector grants and land from Swansea University. The origins of the Technium Network may be traced back to the notion of enhancing the then WDA Centres of Excellence for Technology and Industrial Collaboration (CETIC) project (Abbey et al., 2008). The CETIC project was designed to enable linkages to be built between university-based research and firms (Abbey et al., 2008). Indeed, the first Technium centre was established in conjunction with Swansea-based higher education institutions.

Table 1.
Broad-based Technium objectives
Provide incubation space for exciting companies with growth potential
Act as a highly-visible vehicle for company-academia links
Provide an attractive way for global companies to invest in Wales in high value add activities
Host mixed private/public sector support teams
Act as strong physical focus points for the Welsh Assembly Government innovation communication campaign

Source: DTZ (2010)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Innovation: Translating an idea or invention into a good or service which is crucial to the success of an organization.

Network: Interconnection of people or things through a group or system in order to exchange information.

Cooperation: Working together with someone, another company, organization, or country to achieve something.

Trust: Believing in the truth, reliability, or ability of something or someone.

Norm: A way of doing things or behaving that is accepted as a standard and most people agree with.

Collaboration: Working with other people or organizations to achieve, create, or produce something.

Technium: A business incubation scheme in Wales providing tenants with business support, venture finance, office space, and fast telecom links.

Social Capital: Networks of social relationships among people in a society or organization.

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