Edited by Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman
Chapter 10: The Dynamics of Regional Specialization in Modern Biotechnology: Comparing Two Regions in Sweden and Two Regions in Australia, 1977–2001
Johan Brink, Linus Dahlander, and Maureen McKelvey 1. INTRODUCTION A crucial issue within evolutionary economics and innovation studies is the extent to which scientiﬁc and technological knowledge aﬀect economic transformation. This chapter therefore addresses whether, and how, regions may transform and achieve global specialization in modern biotechnology over time. The broader issue is, to what extent, and why, does knowledge aﬀect industrial dynamics and the relative competitiveness of speciﬁc regions? This chapter addresses more speciﬁc questions about specialization and about the long-term trajectories of specialization at the regional level over 25 years. It examines regional specialization in modern biotechnology in two regions in Sweden (Gothenburg and East Gothia) and two regions in Australia (Melbourne and Brisbane). Specialization depends on the development and diﬀusion of new scientiﬁc and technological knowledge per se as well as on the market-related processes arising from the application of such knowledge within diﬀerent manufacturing and service sectors. Theoretically and analytically, industrial sectors may be diﬀerentiated from ﬁelds of scientiﬁc and technological knowledge. This diﬀerentiation applies particularly to analyses involving modern biotechnology. We analyse the long-term relative specialization of four regions into modern biotechnology within scientiﬁc, technological and business activities. The empirical focus is thus on one area of new knowledge argued to have major future impacts on society and industry. Our starting-point here is that scientiﬁc and technological knowledge should be diﬀerentiated from 265 266 Forming the new sectors and the broad...
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