Biotechnology and Innovation Systems
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Biotechnology and Innovation Systems

The Role of Public Policy

Edited by Bo Göransson and Carl Magnus Pålsson

This book explores how policies targeting public research institutions, such as universities, contribute to the appropriation of biotechnology through national innovation systems.
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Chapter 14: Implications for Public Policy and Industry Development

Bo Göransson and Carl-Magnus Pålsson


1 Bo Göransson and Carl Magnus Pålsson The twelve case countries examined in this book differ substantially in terms of level of economic development, industry structure and market orientation, but they all share the trait of attaching high importance to the development of the biotechnology sector. The preceding chapters have illustrated the diversity and heterogeneity of the biotechnology sector, and that the raison d’être for national policies in this area varies substantially. For industrialized countries, the building up of national competence in biotechnology is perceived as an integral part of maintaining and enhancing a competitive advantage for domestic industry. Consequently, national policies in this category of countries are aimed at supporting and complementing the national biotech industry’s ability to compete in targeted segments. Measures include stimulating university–industry linkages and technology transfer through support programmes as well as joint R&D schemes. For other countries, with a less developed industrial structure and fewer resources to spend on R&D, the biotech industry is nevertheless regarded as a promising tool for addressing urgent social needs and for holding the promise of future industrial growth and development. As the case of Cuba illustrates, national health care considerations can provide a powerful incentive for developing the biotech sector. The successful development of a synthesized vaccine against meningitis enabled the country to embark on a nationwide vaccination campaign at considerably lower cost than for imported, cultured alternatives. Also, countries like Mozambique and Tanzania consider biotechnology to hold the key to transforming...

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