The Emergence and Growth of Biotechnology
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The Emergence and Growth of Biotechnology

Experiences in Industrialised and Developing Countries

Rohini Acharya

This innovative book examines the development and evolution of biotechnology in industrialised and developing countries.
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Chapter 3: From Human Insulin to Oncomice: Patterns of Innovation in Industrialised Countries

Rohini Acharya


Page 32 3—  From Human Insulin to Oncomice: Patterns of Innovation in Industrialised Countries 3.1—  Introduction The establishment of biotechnology as a commercially viable set of techniques has taken place most rapidly in countries that are industrialised, i.e., in countries of  North America, Europe and in Japan. The early commercialisation of biotechnology took place because of scientific breakthroughs in the 1970s and considerable  risks taken by entrepreneurs and scientists to prove the viability of the new techniques. Once the potential of the technology was recognised, several governments put  together national plans and policies to encourage and enable the commercialisation and diffusion of the new techniques. Patterns of innovation in biotechnology in  industrialised countries, however, show considerable differences and gaps between countries. This chapter examines patterns of development of biotechnology in industrialised countries in order to determine the successes and failures of different development  paths; and whether developing and industrialising countries still in the process of defining appropriate national priorities for biotechnology can learn valuable lessons  from the experiences of industrialised countries. 3.2—  Biotechnology Policies and Research in the Industrialised Countries The late 1970s and especially the early 1980s brought with them many changes relating to issues of technological change and its implications for    Page 33 competitiveness in certain sectors. The apparent decline of traditional industries such as textiles and clothing was a result of the challenge from the newly industrialising  countries of Asia and other developing countries and changing patterns of comparative advantage. Older, labour intensive industries became increasingly uncompetitive...

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