Technopark was originally conceived of as a Science Park in the late 1970’s when Prof Christo Viljoen, then vice-dean of the Engineering faculty at Stellenbosch University, went to Taiwan. There he visited Shinshu Science Park, one of the world’s revered successes. He brought over the concept to Stellenbosch, and managed to obtain buy-in from the local and national government.
The park was established in 1985, and was supported by the Industrial Development Corporation and housed an incubator and innovation lab.
The park was managed by a committee and the local municipality.
The entering of firms into the park was very slow for numerous reasons including a poor community understanding of the concept and benefit of a science park. Other external factors such as an economic slowdown forced the management to allow it to become market-oriented in the 1990’s and the strict criteria of firms entering the park were relaxed.