Chapter 4: Shifting institutional logics in biomaterials companies
Universities are increasingly considered as ‘economic engines’ (Berman, 2012b), sites where knowledge production and commercial opportunities are co-produced. Since the mid-1970s, the sciences have undergone a significant shift from being a common good that supplies knowledge and education to an enterprising agent in its own right. The number of registered patents derived from university-based research has grown since the 1960s and today new patents are in many cases a key performance indicator for a variety of research settings. In the field of biomaterials and medical devices innovation, the close connections between university and industry have been more pronounced. First of all, new directives issued by the EU regulate in greater detail the development of biomaterials and medical devices. In addition, biomaterials and medical devices are increasingly combined with pharmaceuticals that are regulated by another directive, and therefore there are higher demands for, for example, clinical data on such new products as combinations of, say, biomaterials and pharmaceuticals. In this chapter, recent and ongoing changes in the field of biomaterials and medical devices innovation is examined as what institutional theorists speak of as a shift in institutional logic, from a more traditional ‘product development logic’ to a ‘science-based innovation logic’ more closely associated with basic academic research work.
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