Nonagon aims to promote the articulation between the public, private and university sectors, leading to the creation of a new paradigm of development.
This practice address to low knowledge transference between university and companies, low degree of cooperation between the actors of the quadruple helix, low early stage rate of entrepreneurial activity and the low level of innovative culture. It provides a series of general services (administrative support) and value added services (business modelling, planning, access to investors, signposting, bridging researchers and companies, among others) besides housing, and through those it fosters the competitiveness based upon innovation of start-ups and SME’s. The stakeholders are the Regional Government of the Azores (Regional Directorate for Science and Technology, Azores Business Development Society), Municipality of Lagoa. The beneficiaries are potential entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and SME’s mainly in the field of ICT. The main objectives are: creating the conditions for the promotion of technology-based entrepreneurship, encouraging cultural change, intergenerational, favoring a proactive attitude, cooperation and information sharing; fostering the diffusion of innovative practices in companies and facilitate the relationship between them and the entities of the scientific and technological system; orienting the strategy and the operational actions within the clusters with greater innovative potential and monitoring the activities of technology-based entrepreneurship, priming results. NONAGON has a EU|BIC accreditation, recently renewed.
Nonagon’s Key resources are physical (buildings, office spaces) and human (highly qualified support team).
In terms of financial resources, it relies on the local OP Açores2020 and also on a funding contract guaranteed by the Vice-Presidency of the Regional Government of the Azores.
Evidence of success
27 Start-ups and SME’s supported directly as tenants; 200 jobs, being 65% of those created after the companies established at Nonagon; 106 events mainly dedicated to Science, Technology and Innovation:
- 3 editions of Startup Weekend Azores (155 potential entrepreneurs)
- 1 edition of NASA App Challenge (20 potential entrepreneurs)
- CoderDojo (200 children coding learning)
In terms of overall turnover Start-ups generated more than € 650K; 100% of survival rate among the supported star-up.
The main difficulty found is related to the local culture. Local companies still distrust collaboration and open innovation schemes. However, the promotion of several events and networking moments has helped some companies establishing some partnerships that are already producing some good results.
Potential for learning or transfer
Potential for learning or transfer Nonagon as a still young Science and Technology Park hasn’t yet established unique procedures/strategies that can be transferred to countries or regions that historically explored the potential of the STP. Nevertheless, it can work as a benchmarking example to other outermost European regions that are implementing their first STP.