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Business incubators are facilities that provide small, entrepreneurial businesses with affordable space, shared support and business development services. They can help young businesses during their start-up period when they are most financially vulnerable. Comprehensive information on incubators can be found on this site: http://www.ebn.eu/.

Incubators can be found across the Brainflow regions.

In Twente, incubator activities are part of its policy focus on the knowledge intensive economy, which includes two types of activities. One is creating a stronger regional knowledge economy through actively acquiring companies and stimulating new spin off and trying to influence relevant economic clusters with programs like Care and Technology, the Innovation Platform Twente, Culture and Technology and Internet Broadband. We discuss the Innovation Platform Twente hereafter. Secondly the policy program is about creating an infrastructure for knowledge intensive business. Key in this infrastructure is the Knowledge Park Twente.

The great emphasis on knowledge-intensive activity seems to the result of the start of the Business and Science Park and the role that the municipality of Enschede got in it. The Business and Science Park was primarily initiated by the University of Twente next to its campus. However, from 1990 also the municipality became directly involved in the business park. In that year she took in addition to the University and the EAST Regional development Agency a share in the Foundation Business and Science Park.

In Gelderland, adequate incubator support is only present in Wageningen (comparable to Twente); in Nijmegen there is limited capacity at the University campus (Mercator), and new initiatives are planned in a new area to the east of the campus (NovioTech Campus). Een interesting article can be found here.

Hamar (Hedmark) and OWL both host incubator activities in biotech. Hamar has invested in a biotech research centre that present a core site of attraction for national and international talent. In OWL incubation activities are part of its sectoral network approach (see innovation).