Biomaterials Innovation

Biomaterials Innovation

Bundling Technologies and Life

Alexander Styhre

Rapid advances in the life sciences means that there is now a far more detailed understanding of biological systems on the cellular, molecular and genetic levels. Sited at the intersection between the life sciences, the engineering sciences and the design sciences, innovations in the biomaterials industry are expected to garner increasing attention and play a key role in future development. This book examines the biomaterials innovations taking place in corporations and in academic research settings today.

Chapter 6: Financing biomaterials innovation: selling science in venture capital markets

Alexander Styhre

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, biotechnology, organisational innovation


One of the most comprehensive changes in the world economy over the last four decades is the increased emphasis on financial markets and financial actors. The so-called ‘financialization’ of the economy (Krippner, 2005, 2011; Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin, 2011; Dore, 2008; Epstein, 2005; Lapavitsas, 2012) has emerged on the basis of macroeconomic and political changes and on the basis of the increased domain of jurisdiction of economists in the field of finance theory. Today, corporations are managed by and large on the basis of their ability to satisfy the demand for shareholder value creation, that is, to optimize the value produced to the benefit of the owners of the firm. One of the principal arguments in favour of shareholder value corporate governance policy and its underlying theoretical framework, agency theory, is that capital invested wisely can be released and transferred to other, more competitive, industries and corporations (Jensen, 1993). Such alleged efficiency of operative capital is, however, not necessarily supported by empirical evidence. While Lazonick and Tulum (2011) and Pisano (2006), for example, stress the substantial inflow of capital into the US biotechnology industry during the last few decades, despite poor performance in terms of profitability and output of new therapies, such increases in venture capital have not been observed in other parts of the world.

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