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The Economic Dynamics of Modern Biotechnology

Edited by Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman

This book offers a novel insight into the economic dynamics of modern biotechnology, using examples from Europe to reflect global trends. The authors apply theoretical insight to a fundamental enigma of the modern learning society, namely, how and why the development of knowledge and ideas interact with market processes and the formation of industries and firms.
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Chapter 3: Stylized Facts about Innovation Processes in Modern Biotechnology

Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman


Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter argues that modern biotechnology has been – and continues to be – developing at a rapid pace and is connected to fundamental changes in the economy over time, with new products, firms and activities starting up and with existing ones being significantly modified or disappearing over time. The stylized facts of innovation processes proposed in Chapter 1 are used to structure an overview of the development of modern biotechnology. These are stylized facts in the sense of summarizing a set of propositions and facts that many researchers within a community take for granted.1 This chapter draws on existing research about modern biotechnology as well as illustrates through a case of genomics companies and commercialization of human biobanks. In doing so, this chapter marks the transition from the introduction of the book (Part I) to this section ‘Setting the scene’ (Part II). It thereby moves the book from a critical assessment of definitions, methodology and data to an understanding of the emergence and complexity of actors and processes involved in science, technology and innovation. As such, this chapter paints a broad picture of modern biotechnology, and is designed to be a contribution in its own right as well as relevant to the book as a whole. It can also be used to place in context subsequent chapters found in ‘Challenging the existing’ (Part III) and ‘Forming the new’ (Part IV). This chapter is structured around the four stylized facts...

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