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 7: Biomaterials innovation: recreating the human body

Alexander Styhre

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


In this monograph, three separate yet interrelated perspectives have been taken on biomaterials innovation practices. The study reports empirical data from five different companies, one venture capital firm and the state fund, all having their own competences, challenges and histories while sharing a concern regarding how to exploit and commercialize biomaterials and medical devices, and bring these new therapies into the clinics. The theoretical framework presented in Part I introduced a number of perspectives, including theories on materiality at large, theories about financialization and venture capital raising, and philosophical writings on how technologies and biological systems individuate. Such diverse perspectives on the object of study – biomaterials and medical devices – are needed in order to capture the complexities involved in bringing new therapies to the market and into the clinics. In addition, public investment in basic life-science research in the universities will not be effectively exploited unless a more comprehensive view of biomaterials and medical devices is taken. Especially in Europe, the so-called knowledge paradox has been heavily debated, and the need for a higher degree of commercialization on the basis of investment made is strongly emphasized in political quarters. The major multinational pharmaceutical industry has served as the principal provider of life-science innovations and therapies during the post-World War II period. Targeting primarily blockbuster drugs, the pharmaceutical industry has been in a position to both acquire its own cash flow and to develop its own sales and marketing channels.

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