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Technological Entrepreneurship and Capability Building in Biotechnology

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The question addressed in this paper is whether and how intermediate developed countries (IDCs) can profit from the possibilities opened by globalisation to set off processes of capability building in advanced technological sectors. While most debates have taken place in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field, the paper addresses the case of biotechnology. It is argued that, given the specific characteristics of biotechnology, opportunities may emerge for technology-intensive entrepreneurial initiatives in countries that have developed a reasonable science base and built the capacity to connect to and plug into international biotechnology networks. The exploitation of these opportunities requires strategies that combine good indigenous scientific competences and a pool of skilled human resources, with transnational linkages, and that rely on firms' abilities to find a position in globally coordinated 'knowledge value chains'. The paper conducts a first assessment of the viability of this approach, drawing on empirical research on 'distant networking strategies' adopted by Portuguese new biotechnology firms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: INETI/DMS, Lisbon, Portugal

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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