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The life science industry sector: evolution of agro-biotechnology in Europe

Tait, J   Chataway, J   Wield, D

Science and Public Policy   29 (4) 253-258

January 2002   (Date deposited July 2006)

Research at Innogen: Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Security

This article reports on a detailed study of large agro-biotechnology companies, conducted during the recent period of rapid industrial restructuring. The concept of life science synergy, involving a useful cross-fertilisation of ideas between the development of new drugs and new crop protection products, has floundered. Although negative public reaction to GM (genetically modified) crop development is a significant cause, our research suggests that there are other more subtle causes, such as organisational culture differences between agro-chemicals and biotechnology disciplines and between seeds and chemicals firms. We found three distinct approaches to life science and technology trajectory-seeking in top agro-biotechnology companies.