The Biotechnology Industry in Norway: A Marginal Sector or Future Core Activity?

Terje Grønning

in Innovation, Path Dependency, and Policy

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199551552
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720819 | DOI:
The Biotechnology Industry in Norway: A Marginal Sector or Future Core Activity?

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The prevalence of successful biotechnology firms has long been associated with the existence of national or regional agglomerations of the biotechnology firms themselves and partners such as large corporations, universities, research institutes, and venture capital firms. It is, however, acknowledged that such agglomeration trends may be most closely associated with medical biotechnology. This chapter examines ninety-three firms that may be classified as biotechnology-related firms in Norway. While there is indeed a great preoccupation with medical biotechnology in Norway, the survey shows that two other distinct traits are present: a concentration of firms focused on diagnostics and related fields, and a focus on marine biotechnology. In a path dependency perspective, these foci may be explained at least in part by the existence of knowledge bases and market opportunities within chemistry based reagents and fish oils respectively, which were present from the times prior to the advent of modern biotechnology. The chapter contributes to the theories on capabilities of individual firms and agglomeration of different firms and other organizations, and suggests that foci on such niches as those which are prevalent in Norway may function with more disperse geographical distribution patterns as compared to cases described in existing literature.

Keywords: path dependency; Norway; diagnostics; marine biotechnology; biotechnology firms; agglomerations

Chapter.  10417 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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