Techno Park’s history as a leading South African business location is grounded in the late 1970’s when Prof Christo Viljoen, then vice-dean of the Engineering faculty at Stellenbosch University, visited Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan. Impressed by Hsinchu’s innovative approach, Prof Viljoen brought the concept back to Stellenbosch and managed to obtain buy-in from the local and national government to establish a similar venture.
Supported by the then Industrial Development Corporation, Techno Park was established in 1985 and housed an incubator as well as an innovation lab. The park was managed by a committee and the local municipality.
Uptake of firms into the park was very slow at first due to the strict criteria of acceptance, as well as a poor community understanding of the concept and the 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, leading to the relaxation of the strict criteria governing the entrance of firms entering the park.
Since the 1990’s, Techno Park Stellenbosch has become a prime business location for leading South African companies in areas of technology, innovation and sustainability. The Stellenbosch business park attracts some of the top brands in South Africa who work in close proximity to one another in the majestic surrounds of the Cape Winelands.
In 2015, the Technopark Special Ratings Area (SRA) was established as a Non Profit Organisation (NPO) who, in collaboration with the Stellenbosch Municipality, take care of the management of Techno Park, its marketing, as well as the improvement of Techno PArk’s facilities. The ultimate goal has shifted towards improving the value for property in Techno Park, attracting high calibre tenants and establishing a community feeling.