Developments in new biotechnology firms in Germany.

Momma, Stefan and Sharp, Margaret (1999) Developments in new biotechnology firms in Germany. Technovation, 19. pp. 267-282.

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Germany now has a substantial number of new biotechnology firms, with the number steadily increasing. The institutional framework has been slow to develop for this novel form of company, but many are now emerging and will certainly play an important part in the dynamics of the system. At the same time, the science base in this area has gained considerably in breadth and quality. The essential questions that arise from these recent developments are: (i) what prevented these new biotechnology firms from growing earlier and what is the current situation? (ii) What changes have occurred which have stimulated this growth? (iii) How are biotechnology companies going to develop further and what are the implications for Germany's pharmaceutical industry and wider economy? A database for biotechnology firms in Germany was set up of which a subset was used to analyse the current state of development. The following conclusions were reached: (i) Germany now has a substantial number of new biotechnology firms and the numbers are steadily increasing. (ii) Their collaborations with and proximity to academic centres of excellence suggests they are well embedded in the German research system. However, their sectoral composition sets them apart from their American counterparts, with greater bias towards instrumentation and environmental biotechnology, both areas of German industrial strength. (iii) Since the mid-1980s there has been continuous, if slow, adaptation to the institutional framework supporting biotechnology. These changes have finally resulted in an effective network of industry, academic and government links and have helped to promote both an increasingly strong scientific performance and the development of new firms. The authors suggest that, although these developments do not conform to the Anglo-Saxon entrepreneurial model in which new firms effectively forge new industries, the German evolutionary approach to innovation may still be holding its ground.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:01
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2012 11:00
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