European Countries in Science-Based Competition: The Case of Biotechnology

  • Margaret Sharp
Part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science book series


The purpose of this chapter is to consider how best Europe can maximise its advantages in biotechnology. It is wrong to talk about biotechnology as an industry. It is not an industry but a technology, or rather a set of technologies. It is above all concerned with new approaches to old problems and new ways of doing things; it is a process technology, not a product technology. (This helps to explain why it has led to so few new products on the market some 15 years after it first emerged.) To maximise its advantage in biotechnology, Europe’s goal must be the rapid diffusion of the new process techniques. This chapter argues that the key to this diffusion process lies, not, as many would suggest, with the small firm sector, but with Europe’s major pharmaceutical and chemical companies. It further argues that the best way to promote the take-up of biotechnological processes lies in strong support for the science base, the building of bridging mechanisms between industry and academia, and a tough but sympathetic regulatory environment.


Venture Capital Academic Science Biotechnology Firm Academic Sector Venture Capital Market 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1991

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  • Margaret Sharp

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