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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 13: Creation and Growth of High-Tech SMEs: The Role of the Local Environment

Corinne Autant-Bernard, Vincent Mangematin and Nadine Massard


Corinne Autant-Bernard, Vincent Mangematin and Nadine Massard 1. INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to understand the determinants of the creation and growth of high-tech small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a regional level as industry matures. The biotech sector is examined to understand the role of local environment in the economic valorization1 of scientific results. We specifically investigate the influence of two determinants of the creation and growth of biotech SMEs: a scientific and technical profile of a region and the size of the local market for biotech products and services. In the USA, the biotech sector has developed around poles of scientific excellence (Audretsch and Stephan 1996; Zucker et al. 1995; Zucker et al. 1997). The movement of researchers from academic laboratories towards the private sector has provided a vehicle for the diffusion of knowledge and has been a powerful force behind the creation of start-ups (Almeida and Kogut 1999; Catherine et al. 2004). Economic and tax policies to support entrepreneurs in the creation of high-tech firms have had impressive results in Quebec, now North America’s third region with regard to the creation of biotech firms (Niosi 2000). In Europe, different public policies have been implemented and the results in terms of creation and growth of biotech SMEs show a contrasting picture. The UK, Germany and Sweden are performing better than France and southern Europe (Senker et al. 2001). In France, national and regional policies are combined to support...

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