Edited by Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman
Chapter 13: Creation and Growth of High-Tech SMEs: The Role of the Local Environment
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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