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A Comparison of U. S. and European University-Industry Relations in the Life Sciences

Pammolli, Fabio and Owen-Smith, Jason and Riccaboni, Massimo and Powell, Walter W. A Comparison of U. S. and European University-Industry Relations in the Life Sciences. Management Science, 48 (1). pp. 24-43. ISSN 00251909 (2002)

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We draw on diverse data sets to compare the institutional organization of upstream life science research across the United States and Europe. Understanding cross-national differences in the organization of innovative labor in the life sciences requires attention to the structure and evolution of biomedical networks involving public research organizations (universities, government laboratories, nonprofit research institutes, and research hospitals), science-based biotechnology firms, and multinational pharmaceutical corporations. We use network visualization methods and correspondence analyses to demonstrate that innovative research in biomedicine has its origins in regional clusters in the United States and in European nations. But the scientific and organizational composition of these regions varies in consequential ways. In the United States, public research organizations and small firms conduct R&D across multiple therapeutic areas and stages of the development process. Ties within and across these regions link small firms and diverse public institutions, contributing to the development of a robust national network. In contrast, the European story is one of regional specialization with a less diverse group of public research organizations working in a smaller number of therapeutic areas. European institutes develop local connections to small firms working on similar scientific problems, while cross-national linkages of European regional clusters typically involve large pharmaceutical corporations. We show that the roles of large and small firms differ in the United States and Europe, arguing that the greater heterogeneity of the U. S. system is based on much closer integration of basic science and clinical development.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1287/mnsc.
Additional Information: Also published in M. McKelvey & L. Orsenigo (Eds.), The Economics of Biotechnology, Volume II, 342-361, Edward Edgar, Cheltenham, 2006.
Uncontrolled Keywords: University-Industry Relations; National Innovation Systems; R&D Networks; Spatial Clustering; Network Visualization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2011 14:28
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2011 14:40
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/630

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