Title: Technology creation in the biotechnology sectors: the French connection

Authors: Dominique Jolly, Shyama V. Ramani

Addresses: Professor, Groupe ESC Grenoble, France. ' Charge de Recherche, Sociologie et Economie de la Recherche & Developpement, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Grenoble, France

Abstract: This paper examines how a government committed to the development of biotechnology sectors succeeded in a country where there was a retard in scientific knowledge, weak links between firms and scientific institutions and sluggish capital markets. Based on in-depth interviews with prominent figures from the biotechnology sectors and secondary data, the paper looks at the development of the biotechnology sectors in France, as a response of the firms, the research community, and the financial markets, to the coordination and initiatives of the French Government. We show that despite the shortcomings of the state intervention, research in biotechnology is now thriving in France, a small sector of dedicated biotechnology firms has been created and a few large diversified firms are working on creating major innovations with a global market. We then draw inferences from the French experience on the conditions favourable for the development of biotechnology sectors in any late comer country, and conclude with the policy implications that such conditions entail.

Keywords: biotechnology sectors; generic technology; codified knowledge; technology creation; France; state intervention; innovation; government policy; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1996.025520

International Journal of Technology Management, 1996 Vol.12 No.7/8, pp.830 - 848

Published online: 22 May 2009 *

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