A new innovation park is being created in Kaunas: what to expect for business, investors and citizens
Paskelbta: 2021-05-26 (Wednesday)
The transition from the former military territory to the industrial innovation zone is the vision of the park explored in the urban feasibility study of the Aleksotas Innovation Industrial Park (AIIP). In the heart of Aleksotas district, the aim is to create a compact, green and communication-promoting innovation valley that would meet the modern principles of sustainable development and the needs of the Kaunas region. Take a walk and explore the area of the future park.
The Aleksotas Innovation Industrial Park (AIIP), which is being developed in the territory of the former Kaunas Aviation Factory, is currently designed and equipped with the above-ground and underground infrastructure required for the use of the territory. Other first works planned by the territory developer, Kaunas City Municipality, will start very soon.
“Currently, we are rapidly carrying out the conversion of the former Soviet Army combat helicopter repair shop hangar, adapting this 10,000 sq. m. building for the needs of the innovation park. A technical project for the reconstruction of the building has already been prepared, at the beginning of the summer we will announce a contractor search tender, we will start the works in the autumn, they are scheduled for 18 months. We attracted over 10 million euro funding from EU funds for the creation of the park infrastructure and the conversion of the territory,” says Andrius Palionis, Deputy Mayor of Kaunas City Municipality.
In order to better understand the potential of the area and identify potential risks, an urban feasibility study was prepared. According to the specialists of the urban planning and architecture office MASH Studio, this is not only a great opportunity to check the limits of local possibilities, but also to dream a bit: the analysis helps the developers to refine their needs and priorities, formulate a spatial development or technical project task.
An analysis of similar types of territories abroad and discussions with potential investors were carried out, which allowed to formulate development criteria and hear how technology companies understand the innovation park. It is emphasized that the park should be developed consistently – perceived and recognized as a complex quarter, an integral part of the city’s fabric. Great emphasis in the new valley of innovations is placed on modern, ecological solutions, creation of an employee-friendly environment, spaces for communication, expositions, and common use infrastructure. It is tentatively proposed to divide the territory into 20 plots, in which it would be possible to develop over 200 thousand sq.m. area.
“These are the aspects that make innovation industrial parks different from free economic zones or other industrial areas. Another scale, different street geometry “- notes urbanist Živilė Šimkutė.
Focus on place and context
According to Tadas Stankevičius, the head of Kaunas IN, who commissioned the study, the analysis prepared by the urban planners and the vision of the park explored in various sections are not only aimed at maximum flexibility for potential investors, but also take into account the individuality of the territory.
“It may seem that the industrial and cultural heritage objects surrounding the territory are a challenge for the successful development of the park, but thanks to joint efforts, these challenges have been turned into unique strengths that can only be attributed to this park. In the international arena, AIIP will compete with innovation hubs that have been operating in major European cities for many years, so the uniqueness of the park will undoubtedly attract the attention of investors and become a guarantee of its success, ”says T. Stankevičius.
The organizers of the AIIP feasibility study state that the main strength of the park is its connection with the surrounding areas. It is emphasized that the park should become an integral and viable part of Aleksotas, rather than an autonomous, fenced industrial zone. “We offer simple spatial planning rules to help create a more humane street profile. The hierarchy of streets has been rethought, the center of attraction of the newly developed park and the surrounding area is proposed – an area with a square, concentrated common use functions: offices, conferences, cooperation, exposition spaces, a multi-storey parking lot, ”say the organizers of the study.
According to Deputy Mayor Andrius Palionis, a park development plan will be prepared by the end of the year – as if it were a kind of Park Constitution, which will determine which investors will be invited and under what conditions and what benefits they will receive for it. Once the plan is approved by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, the first investors will be able to settle in the park.
Among the planned indicators of business and scientific activity – it is planned to create well-paid, highly qualified jobs (at least 1,000), at least 142 researchers working in the park companies, attracting at least 90 million private investment.
Not by chance on April 14 this year in a debate between European regional leaders on the New European Bauhaus, EU Commissioner for Cohesion Policy and Reform Elisa Ferreira highlighted the AIIP as an excellent project that reflects the EU’s objectives.
You can view a detailed urban feasibility study for the Aleksotas Innovation Industrial Park here: https://kaunasin.lt/old/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/AIPP_2021_S.pdf
Information of Kaunas IN business department.