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Technology management and collaboration profile: virtual companies and industrial platforms in the high‐tech biotechnology industries

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In this paper we discuss collaboration in the area of technology management. We propose the concept of collaboration profile to describe various forms of networks along key differentiating characteristics. The collaboration profile is then applied using two examples to illustrate different forms of collaboration in the biotechnology industries, the ‘virtual company’ and the ‘industrial platform’. Based on interviews with members of a virtual company as well as members of industrial platforms and drawing conclusions from theoretical insights, the advantages and disadvantages of these forms and their suitability for different stages of the technology life cycle will be discussed.

Specifically, we address the following questions:

What kind of collaboration profile applies to virtual companies and industrial platforms?

How does the suitability of collaboration forms vary with the stage of technology development?

Furthermore, we demonstrate the usefulness of the collaboration profile for analysing features and potential problems of collaborations by describing two examples. Focusing on the key characteristics of a collaboration helps to check the appropriateness of the collaboration form and to identify and manage respective problems.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Lueneburg, Germany, 2: National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Cambridge, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2001


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