Title: Open innovation in German biotechnology - an empirical analysis of the management of innovation alliances

Authors: Martin Effelsberg

Addresses: Center of Applied Economic Research Muenster (CAWM), University of Muenster, Am Stadtgraben 9, D-48143 Muenster, Germany

Abstract: Alliances in the field of innovation provide many opportunities for companies in research driven industries like biotechnology. As many of these alliances fail, alliance management has to be taken into consideration. Investigating drivers and conditions for successful innovation alliances can thus be helpful for profound decisions by managers, especially from small enterprises, representatives of biotechnology clusters or politicians responsible for governmental incentives. Based on a large-scale survey in German biotechnology, this article provides new insights into alliance formation and success. The results show that collaborative innovation is very common to cope with industry-specific challenges. Suppliers of information and customers are frequently selected partners and many firms belong to regional clusters. Alliance formation is related to a firm's absorptive capacity and to cultural aspects which reflect the reluctance to open up the innovation process. Alliance success is positively related to absorptive capacity and negatively related to an ineffective protection of intellectual property. Measures to improve absorptive capacity, to reduce the reluctance to collaborate and to protect intellectual property are introduced and managerial implications are derived.

Keywords: alliance formation; alliance success; open innovation; R&D collaboration; management of alliances; biotechnology; absorptive capacity; intellectual property; IP protection; Germany; innovation alliances; strategic alliances; research and development; regional clusters; organisational culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2013.056812

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.225 - 255

Published online: 27 Dec 2013 *

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