European asymmetries: a comparative analysis of German and UK biotechnology clusters

Philip Cooke
2007 Science and Public Policy  
This paper discusses the relative performance of two of the larger European healthcare biotechnology economies, Germany and the UK. It updates to 2006 material first gathered in the late 1990s showing longitudinally the evolutionary trajectories in the main biotechnology clusters of the two countries. Though Germany has about the same number of firms a sthe UK its biotechnology economy is far weaker, with many small firms employing few people, relatively low venture capital investment and,
more » ... e interest in general being shown by pharmaceuticals companies (big pharma) in licensing intellectual property. The reverse is the case in the UK even though the investor euphoria at the time of the first comparative study has not returned, a factor that has affected investment practices considerably. So much so that a new policu of 'entrepreneurship outsourcing' has become visible in the UK as venture capital perceives a better business climate for biotechnology entrepreneurship in the US. The paper concludes somewhat pessimistically that recent developments of this kind may add to such debilitating European problems as witdrawal from healthcare pharmaceuticals altogether and relocation of R&D decision-making to the US on the part of European big pharma, loosening more proximate links within national and regional innovation systems widely perceived as highly important elements in biotechnology cluster performance.
doi:10.3152/030234207x251425 fatcat:emu5zeifc5e6xievoef4iocofu