Thomas Reiss, Ralf Lindner and Ulrich Schmoch INTRODUCTION Biotechnology is one of the key enabling technologies and has become a driving force of dramatic changes of the innovation process in various sectors. Not surprisingly, the promotion of biotechnology has been on the agenda of nearly every European country since the 1990s (Reiss and Dominguez Lacasa, 2007). Also, many non-European countries, with the USA the most prominent example, have been investing heavily in the promotion of biotechnology (e.g. Reiss et al., 2007). More than 35 years have passed now since the emergence of modern biotechnology based on genetic engineering technologies, monoclonal antibody approaches and other innovative technologies. Accordingly the question of the status of biotechnology appropriation in different countries is not only interesting from the academic point of view, where diffusion patterns and conditions would be a main interest. Rather, exploring the appropriation of biotechnology can also contribute to the understanding of the effectiveness of various policy approaches aiming at the promotion of biotechnology. Current research shows that the development and implementation of biotechnology is rather diverse across countries and also within countries (Reiss and Dominguez Lacasa, 2008; Gaisser and Reiss, 2008; Enzing and Reiss, 2008; Senker et al. 2008). This could be explained partly by historical, geographical, economic or demographic factors. However, governmental policy approaches are an important key to understanding why biotechnology shows such large differences in growth patterns between countries. In a recent EU-funded research project – BIOPOLIS – a detailed analysis has been elaborated on the promotion of biotechnology...
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