Experiences in Industrialised and Developing Countries
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Chapter 8: Concluding Remarks
Page 117 8— Concluding Remarks The scientific development of biotechnology, followed by its technological commercialisation has followed very different patterns in different countries. The intention of the book was to compare and contrast the development of biotechnology in different countries with different levels of scientific and technological capability. In doing so, we first examined the development of the technology among a group of industrialised countries with similar levels of scientific and technological capabilities, followed by the experiences of a group of technological followers. The experiences of all the countries are dependent on their scientific strengths, their economic and social environments and their technological and industrial structures. However, there has been a tendency among countries, be they industrialised or developing, to follow patterns of development established in other countries where biotechnology was introduced earlier. Thus, the spread of biotechnology in industrialised countries such as the United States, in the 1970s and 1980s, led to the establishment of 'biotechnology programmes', or 'biotechnology directorates', in many countries to hasten the diffusion of the technology. Many industrialised and developing countries established nationwide programmes for the development of biotechnology during the 1980s, which aimed to define national agendas and priorities for biotechnology. This was followed by attempts to improve the commercialisation of biotechnology, following patterns established primarily in the United States. Thus, the small biotechnology company became the key to commercialisation and venture capital the key to finance. Most European countries have active programmes to encourage the development of small biotechnology companies which are often...
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