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State-sponsored R&D: a case study of China's biotechnology

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Zhang, Fangzhu; Cooke, Phil; Wu, Fulong

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Abstract This paper examines the model of China's biotechnology innovation. We apply the typology of entrepreneurial, partnership, and developmental state, to the Chinese biotechnology sector. Biotechnology development in China originates from state-sponsored programs. Chinese biotechnology research capacities experience fast growth. The state funding plays a crucial role in the latecomer situation. Geographically, biotechnology industries are concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other major cities. The state promotes biotechnology development. However, such a model has its problems: the lack of sustained funding and under-developed venture capital, weak link between research and industry, and under-performed IP output. Faced with the funding constraint, contract research organizations (CROs) have recently become proliferated. Despite the strong role of state, we conclude that the Chinese model of biotechnology innovation is a hybrid one, rather than the classical one of developmental state, which combines various elements of different models.
Keywords innovation; China
Classification Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Free Keywords Research and development (R&D); Biotechnology; Innovation model
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 575-595
Journal Regional Studies, 45 (2010) 5
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)