Science, the state and the city: Britain's struggle to succeed in biotechnology

Owen, Geoffrey and Hopkins, Michael M (2016) Science, the state and the city: Britain's struggle to succeed in biotechnology. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198728009

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The book examines the evolution of a new industrial sector based on one of the most important technologies that has emerged in the last fifty years—biotechnology, the use of living organisms to create useful products and services. The most important application of biotechnology has been in medicine—developing new drugs—and the book explains how US-based firms lead the commercializing of this technology, and why firms in other countries have failed to match what the leading American companies’ achievements. The book looks at the institutions and policies which have underpinned US biotechnology success: the US innovation of ‘ecosystem’, which comprises several interlocking elements and constitutes a powerful competitive advantage for US biotech firms. These include a higher education system with close links to industry, massive support from the Federal government for biomedical research and a financial system which supports young entrepreneurial firms in a science-based industry. In the light of US experience the book examines the performance of UK biotech firms, starting with the UK’s first dedicated biotech firm, Celltech, in 1980. Despite a promising start in the 1980s and 1990s, several leading UK firms failed, and investors lost confidence in the UK biotech sector. Only recently has the sector staged a revival, attracting fresh investment from the US as well from the UK. The story told here, based on interviews with industry participants, investors, and policy makers in the UK, Continental Europe, and the US, highlights one of the central issues facing governments in advanced industrial countries—how to create and sustain new science-based industries.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Innovation, Industrial policy
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Depositing User: Michael Hopkins
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 11:29
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 09:55
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