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GUEST EDITORIAL: The evolution and dynamics of biotechnology systems of innovation: the role of policy targeting

Rosiello, A   Mastroeni, M

Technology Analysis & Strategic Management   25 (7) 745-751

August 2013

We conceive the emergence of commercial biotechnology, particularly its biomedical applications, as a complex, evolutionary and context-dependent process. Since the early 1980s, the use of cellular and molecular processes to develop new technologies, products and services has resulted in a number of applications that contribute to reshape the structure of the industry and raise expectations for economic growth. Many countries have tried to close the gap with the USA which enjoyed a first-mover advantage and maintains a global leadership. This has been (concurrently) attempted by different levels of government (regional, national and supra-national), using a variety of measures. They range from investments in the science base, to the creation of institutions for the transfer (technology transfer offices) and dissemination (scientific and industrial networks) of bioscience and biotechnology, forms of support and incentives to bio-entrepreneurship, attempts to develop friendlier regulatory regimes (e.g. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast track development programme and orphan drugs act), institutional changes (e.g. strengthening of intellectual property rights, creation of research councils, assignment of property rights to public research organisations, and change in the legislation to facilitate the creation of venture capital funds) and public procurement.