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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 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


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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