Title: University-industry interactions in biotechnology: implications for the development of a high-tech cluster

Authors: Marcia Villasana

Addresses: Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Av. Fundadores y Rufino Tamayo s/n, Col. Valle Oriente, C.P. 66269, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Abstract: As interactions between the academic and industrial sectors become part of the economic development strategies for local governments, understanding the manner in which technology policy instruments influence such relationships acquires more relevance for policy makers, particularly in developing economies. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study applying a grounded theory approach on university-industry interactions in biotechnology for the case of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, where the creation of a biotech cluster is part of the strategies being implemented. In-depth interviews were conducted with researchers at two of the largest private and public universities. Findings reveal motivations and challenges for both sets of participants; in addition, results show that the predominant forms of interaction are contract research and consulting. An implication for technology policy is the need to design instruments that promote project proposals scientifically attractive for researchers, and that lead to an effective transfer of technology between both sectors.

Keywords: technology policies; university-industry interactions; technology transfer; Mexico; high-tech clusters; regional innovation systems; biotechnology; higher education; academic sector; industrial sector; economic development; local government; policy instruments; developing economies; grounded theory; biotech clusters; researchers; private universities; public universities; R&D; research and development; motivation; challenges; contract research; consulting; consultancies; project proposals; Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon; UANL; Monterrey Institute of Technology; ITESM; learning; intellectual capital; high technology industries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLIC.2012.049618

International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 2012 Vol.9 No.4, pp.429 - 447

Published online: 10 Oct 2012 *

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