Title: Expansion of science-based industries: technological and organisational accumulation vs. fragmentation? Insights from biotechnology in Estonia

Authors: Margit Kirs

Addresses: Tallinn University of Technology, Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, 3 Akadeemia Street, Tallinn 12618, Estonia

Abstract: The governance of high-technology areas poses considerable strategic challenges to transition and developing countries. This study aims to emphasise the importance of the local context as a root of systemic problems from a new perspective. The specific interest concerns the developments in the field of biotechnology in one of the CEE countries, Estonia. The in-depth analysis of Estonia's case reveals parallel but contradictory tendencies at the local level. Whereas the expansion of the industry (increasing number of start-ups) is converging around the limited major players in the field, the convergence at the organisational level reflects the orientation taken on risk management strategies (as derived from the management of a common structure) rather than R&D-intensive synergies and specialisations. The appropriateness of innovation support measures in use and the respective policy-making capabilities (with specific interest in the usage and the impact of the EU Structural Funds) make the issue even more constrained. Hence, the case of Estonia demonstrates the dysfunction of the local innovation management and governance mechanisms and its adverse effect on the sector's long-term performance.

Keywords: local context; inter-organisational relationships; intra-organisational relationships; enterprise groupings; start-ups; R&D collaboration; research and development; fragmentation; innovation support; EU Structural Funds; biotechnology; CEE countries; Estonia; Central and Eastern Europe; science-based industries; technological accumulation; organisational accumulation; European Union; high technology; high tech industries; risk management; innovation management; governance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2016.081705

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2016 Vol.8 No.4, pp.303 - 344

Available online: 20 Jan 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article