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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 5: An Overview of Biotechnology Innovation in Europe: Firms, Demand, Government Policy and Research

Jacqueline Senker


5. An overview of biotechnology innovation in Europe: firms, demand, government policy and research Jacqueline Senker During the 1980s and 1990s governments throughout Europe began to invest in biotech research in the hope of stimulating commercial exploitation (Enzing et al. 1999). Countries, however, have differed dramatically in the extent to which this research has stimulated biotech innovation and in the industrial sectors in which innovation has occurred. Some studies attempting to explain the development of the biotech industry in specific countries focus on characteristics of the national system of innovation (for instance, see Kivinen and Varelius 2003; Giesecke 2000; Bartholomew 1997), but fail to pay attention to the sectoral distribution of biotech innovation. Other studies focus on specific sectors applying biotechnology, such as pharmaceuticals (e.g. see Henderson et al. 1999; Malerba and Orsenigo 2002) and yet others give more attention to the demand and supply factors affecting industrial development in several sectors (e.g. see Walsh 2002). None of these studies explain how and why national characteristics affect the sectoral application of biotechnology within a given country. A project1 designed to fill this gap reviewed biotech developments in eight countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK. It focused on three sectors to which biotechnology is applied: biopharmaceuticals, agro-food biotech2 and research equipment and supplies. For each country and sector, a comparison was made over time of trends in the science base, industrial development including the availability of finance capital and factors...

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