Edited by Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman
Chapter 11: On the Spatial Dimension of Firm Formation
11. On the spatial dimension of ﬁrm formation Annika Rickne 1. INTRODUCING THE ISSUES The last two decades have seen an expanding life science sector in both Europe and the USA, with the growth of incumbent corporations, and a vast number of new ﬁrms being established. Interestingly, on a global arena of life sciences, US actors are remarkably inﬂuential and dominating as regards development of scientiﬁc and technological knowledge, identiﬁcation and exploitation of economic opportunities as well as the ability to create economic growth. In terms of ﬁrm formation, the European life science sector showed some success during the 1990s, resulting in almost 1400 biotech start-ups between 1994 and 2000 (Ernst & Young 2001). However, there are still major diﬀerences between Europe and the USA in terms of ﬁrm growth, revenues, number of public companies as well as economic outcome created. Certainly, the European sector faces somewhat diﬀerent – and some would argue much larger – challenges as compared to its US counterpart. Thus, even if the gap between the USA and Europe may be decreasing in terms of number of ﬁrms, the mechanisms and entrepreneurial innovation activities needed to transform investments in science and technology (S&T) into new ﬁrms and economic growth (Schumpeter 1934) may not be fully put into practice in the European context. The European situation is well mirrored also in the Swedish life science sector. The Swedish challenge has been described as a ‘paradox’, with a competitive research sector but with diﬃculties...
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