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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 4: The Post-Genome Era: Rupture in the Organization of the Life Science Industry?

Michel Quéré


4. The post-genome era: rupture in the organization of the life science industry ? Michel Quéré, CNRS-IDEFI; (*) 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter intends to discuss the organizational conditions chosen by firms to implement innovative behaviours in a specific context: the life science industry. More specifically, this chapter is about how the postgenome era (PGE), defined as the scientific, technological and economic opportunities stemming from the ongoing identification of genomes (human and non-human), has to be considered as a matter of rupture in the organization of the life science industry. Section 2 characterizes the major features of that industry and a specific focus is put on the characteristics of its economic working, contrasting Europe and the USA. From this description, Section 3 elaborates on the importance of the human genome project (HGP) as a mark of transition in the organization of the life science industry. As such, Section 3 makes more explicit the major characteristics of the post-genome era (PGE) and develops the reasons why the latter can be thought of as a structural shock for knowledge dynamics and innovation patterns of firms acting in that industry. Section 4 develops analytical implications from these recent trends in the evolution of the life science industry. The importance given to ‘innovation networks’ will be stressed by discussing the ‘metamorphosis’ (Penrose 1959/1995, p. xix) in industrial organizations which consists of considering alliances and cooperation as a necessary and essential feature to ensure firms’ innovation process. Finally, the concluding Section...

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