Synopsis of the articles of the review

Innovation policy in three European countries: the case of biotechnology

Bernhard Zechendorf
Since more than twenty years, all major European governments have put biotechnology as a priority on their innovation policy agendas. The three major countries (France, the United Kingdom, and Germany) are holding together 80% of the European biotechnology potential. How did they manage its biotechnology policy, and what results could they achieve? A project funded by the European Commission tried to find out by assessing, over the period 1994-2001, the development of the knowledge base, patent activities, technology transfer measures, regulatory policy, industry promotion measures, and public opinion. The author presents, by adding data from other sources, a dynamic picture of each country's policy and development up to 2003.
The role of actors in the organisational life cycle of young biotechnology companies

Géraldine Galindo,
Najoua Boufaden
This article acknowledges the development of young biotechnology companies and emphasises the role of participants on this sector. The driving purpose is to see to the development of companies at the forefront of organisational development theories (e.g.Baird and Meshoulam, 1988) and context-based strategy implementation (Pettigrew, 1987). A year-long company study (a spin-off of a public research lab) was conducted to collect primary data (interviews) and secondary data (company and sector documents). Analysis of the data revealed breaks in the biotechnology company's development that regularly threaten the stability of the system. Each time a phase of balance is reached, a company takes another step towards maturity and the various actors gradually gain an understanding of the sector's twofold mission: performing research and running companies.
Public-private partnerships in genomics: compromise within hybrid organisations

Antoine Bureth and Chantale Mailhot
"Public-private partnerships" are considered key to collective innovation processes. In the molecular biotechnology sector, these partnerships are at the heart of the production, accumulation and sharing of knowledge. They also, however, bring together a large variety of actors with differing, and sometimes opposing, interests. In order to succeed, public-private partnerships require a compromise between these different perspectives. The biotechnology sector provides some intriguing examples of organisational structures whose objective is to coordinate actors motivated by a wide range of action plans. By examining the sociological models of the cities of Boltanski and Thévenot, this article highlights specific details of the coordination methods adopted and the main challenges that must be overcome, focuses on the complementarities achieved and stirs up the melting pot of motivations present.
The influence of regional  environment on the creation and development of biotechnology  SMEs
Bernard, Vincent Mangematin,
Nadine Massard
The authors analyse the determining factors in the creation and development of small-tomedium-sized biotechnology enterprises at the regional level. They show that firms are created in regions with signifi cant scientific and technological potential. The diversity of scientific and technical skills, the size of the markets, and the concentration of related industries (companies with activities in the life sciences) have a positive impact on a region's ability to attract new businesses. On the other hand, a region's scientific and technological profi les do not constitute a determining factor in the growth of companies.
Biotechnologies in the Provence -Alpes-Côte d'Azur region: actors, dynamics and development outlook

Joël Grillasca and Rémi Roghe
The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur (PACA) region has several public biotechnology research laboratories and forty or so companies in the growing biotechnology industry.This article analyses the industry and R&D dynamics of the biotechnology sector in the PACA region, breaking them down into:
- research areas followed by teams at public research labs;
- entrepreneurial dynamics of emerging companies.
The article outlines prospects for developing and structuring the biotechnology industry in the PACA region, with a focus on the areas and activity segments in which it excels.
The role of patents in biotechnologies: the case of the Upper Rhine's BioValley

Antoine Bureth, Rachel Levy, Julien Penin and Sandrine Wolff
The preliminary results of a survey of biotechnology companies, all members of the Upper Rhine's BioValley, have revealed that patents are perceived first and foremost as a means of protecting an inventor's knowledge, for the purpose of restricting competition and increasing the patent holder's negotiating power when dealing with other actors. Thus, patents are not seen as being limited to shielding inventors from potential rivals and imitators. Patents send out a specific message, and therefore the protection afforded to patent holders also provides tools (positive and negative) for coordination, and even cooperation, between organisations. This article analyses the reasons, practices and implications of patents in the field of biotechnology, inviting readers to look beyond the restrictive traditional definition of the patent in economy as a temporary key to monopolistic profit.
Independent biotechnology firms and patent applications from an econometric perspective

Stéphane Lhuillery
and Catherine Carpentier
Biotechnology firms are still not highly inclined to file for patents. Using data collected from a 2002 survey of biotechnology companies in France, performed by the Division of Evaluation and Prospects, we attempt to identify the determining factors that could encourage the 219 independent SMEs participating in the study to increase or limit the number of patent applications fi led. Econometric estimates show that the proximity between the company and public research has an ambiguous impact on the number of patents filed even though the overall effects are found to be positive. At the same time, the diversity of the biotech firms' activities can also prove to be a limiting factor.
Venture capital and intermediation: the foundation of Germany's entrepreneurial take off in biotechnologies - a case study of the Berlin-Brandenburg region

Claire Champenois
The second half of the 1990s was a time of extraordinary development for the biotechnology industry in Germany. In 2000, Germany outpaced the UK to become the leader in Europe, with the highest number of companies operating in the life sciences. Drawing on an in-depth empirical survey, this article proposes a socio-economic analysis of the start-up processes used by new biotechnology fi rms in one of Germany's star regions (Berlin-Brandenburg). It spotlights the foundation of the German entrepreneurial spirit in the life sciences and explains the survival of this spirit even in a decidedly less favourable economic climate.
Trends in biotechnology activity in Canada - 1997, 1999 and 2001

Lara Raoub
This article uses data from three surveys on biotechnology performed by Statistics Canada (1997, 1999 and 2001) for the purpose of analysing trends in biotechnology activity in Canada. On the whole, the surveys showed that biotechnology activity is experiencing strong growth. The overall number of innovative biotechnology firms has consistently progressed in recent years, rising from 282 in 1997 to 375 in 2001. This growth is also demonstrated by the increase in revenue generated by biotechnology fi rms, which more than quadrupled from 1997 to 2001. Research and development programmes are beginning to turn out results, as evidenced by the ratio of revenue to R&D, which rose from USD 1.65 in 1997 to USD 2.67 in 2001. However, many companies are still having problems raising the necessary capital to fi nance their research projects. This is especially the case for small companies, which account for 70% of biotechnology firms.

Mise à jour : février 2020