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Innovation, espace et culture dans le monde anglo-saxon

What Drives Innovativeness? Entrepreneurship and Regional Clustering in Three Biotechnology Hotspots

L’entreprenariat et les réseaux régionaux d’entreprises, moteurs de l’innovation dans trois bioclusters
Jerry Haar, Maija Renko et Alan L. Carsrud
p. 269-290

Résumé

Cet article s’attache à mettre en évidence le lien entre innovation, entreprenariat et développement de réseaux d’entreprises au sein de pôles régionaux. L’innovation y est ainsi abordée à la fois dans sa relation avec l’entreprenariat et dans sa dimension géographique. L’accent est plus particulièrement mis sur les facteurs et les forces qui alimentent l’innovation dans un secteur d’activité dont l’importance va croissant, celui des biotechnologies. L’exemple de trois pôles régionaux, respectivement situés autour de la Baie de San Francisco, à Boston et dans sa périphérie, et dans une zone couvrant une partie de la Pennsylvanie et la vallée de la Delaware, montre que l’innovation résulte de processus qui varient considérablement d’une région à l’autre. En effet, si les trois bioclusters qu’étudie l’article sont caractérisés par un taux élevé d’activité innovante, un équilibre différent dans chaque cas s’y est établi entre les variables liées à l’entreprenariat et celles qui sont relatives à la constitution d’un réseau régional d’entreprises. Il n’existe donc pas de formule éprouvée pour stimuler l’innovation. Une conclusion s’impose, toutefois : l’entreprenariat et la constitution de clusters sont des facteurs de première importance.

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Entrées d’index

Index chronologique :

20th century, XXe siècle

Index thématique et géographique :

économie, economy, histoire, history, société, society, United States, États-Unis
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Texte intégral

  • 1  Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents, New York: W.W. Norton, 2003; Jagdish Bhagwati, (...)

1A hallmark of 21st century globalization is the rapid proliferation and diffusion of innovative technologies, products, and services, and the increasingly important role of entrepreneurs in catalyzing, shaping, and driving that process. Although the controversy over the virtues and vices of globalization continues unabated, what remains is the challenge, need, and quest among both developed and developing nations to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship with the goal of increasing economic growth, socioeconomic development, and employment.1

2Concurrent with this trend is the movement away from centralized authority and control in the realm of political governance towards one of increasing decentralization. Canada, in particular, provides a compelling example of the dynamics of political federalism, as the ongoing divestiture of power from Ottawa outward to the provinces—Québec and Alberta serving as the most notable cases—empowers government closer to constituents and be accountable to those most directly impacted by policies. The economic sphere has not escaped this movement. Economic decentralization has grown during the last decade and a half, with one of its most dramatic and widespread developments being the creation of “clusters” of sectors and industries in selected geographic locales. The tile industry clusters in Italy, Spain and Brazil; electronics in Guadalajara, Mexico; surgical instruments in Tuttlingen, Germany; aerospace in Montreal, Canada; and high technology in the Silicon Valley, California, are some of the most notable examples of cluster concentration.

3The focus of this paper is the nexus of innovation, entrepreneurship and regional clustering (see figure 1). We look at innovations/ innovativeness from the two complementary viewpoints, namely entrepreneurship and geographical clusters, and discern the critical factors and forces that fuel innovativeness in one economic sector of growing prominence: biotechnology.

Figure 1. Nexus of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Clusters

Figure 1. Nexus of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Clusters

Entrepreneurship

  • 2  W. B. Gartner, “Some Suggestions for Research on Entrepreneurial Traits and Characteristics”, Entr (...)

4We define entrepreneurship as the creation of new organizations, which have been shown to impact the formation of clusters that in turn drive innovation, and can also influence the onset of entrepreneurship itself.2 Various elements and forces shape entrepreneurship in the U.S, conceptually, culturally, and commercially.

Critical Elements of U.S. Entrepreneurship

  • 3  C.J. Schramm, “Building Entrepreneurial Economies”, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2004, 104-115.
  • 4  Z.J. Acs et al., GEM 2004 Global Report, 2005.

5The U.S. has a history of cultivating and fostering conditions that stimulate new business creation, with the ensuing results of value creation and growth through new ideas, technologies, processes and improved methods of performing routine tasks. Rather than any one factor, “the U.S. has evolved a multifaceted ‘system’ for nurturing high-impact entrepreneurship…”.3 According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey, the rate of new business creation is higher than any country in Europe and twice that of Germany and U.K.4 Interestingly, new and established businesses cooperate, since the former are often tapped for their creativity, innovation, and (from the larger firm’s perspective) efficiency. Not surprisingly, established firms outsource a significant share of their R&D to start-ups. With the growth and success of small, entrepreneurial firms these enterprises are often acquired by larger enterprises. Government support of R&D along with the active role of universities in applied sciences, technology, and engineering foster a symbiotic relationship that stimulates entrepreneurship across a wide spectrum of business and industry.

Theoretical Discussion

Radical vs. incremental innovations, small firms vs. incumbents

  • 5  J. A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press, 1934.
  • 6  S. Shane and S. Venkataraman, “Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Issue on Technology Entr (...)
  • 7  W. B. Gartner, “Some Suggestions for Research on Entrepreneurial Traits and Characteristics”, op. (...)

6In the entrepreneurship literature, particularly technology entrepreneurship, the word entrepreneurship is equated to innovation. This is not surprising as most researchers and practitioners in entrepreneurship hold Schumpeter5 as their intellectual father. Schumpeter’s entrepreneur is an innovator who creates new, frame breaking products and services (often technology based) thereby shifting the costs and revenues curve in their respective markets. Academics, venture capitalists, and policy makers have come to explicitly and implicitly refer to Schumpeterian entrepreneurship when promoting entrepreneurship and the conviction is that this kind of entrepreneurship that is the basis for wealth creation and rapid growth. The opposite to Schumpeterian entrepreneurship is the Kirznerian6, but it is not regarded as attractive and rarely one hears any reference to Kirzner’s more incremental entrepreneur exhibiting less frame breaking behaviors. The reality is not all entrepreneurs qualify as innovators – they are reproducers in the Kirzner mode. Most nascent entrepreneurs start as small reproducers and not as innovators. Innovation is not a characteristic of the individual entrepreneur, but of their action.7

  • 8 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, Small Busin (...)
  • 9 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, op. cit.

7While some eighteen million Americans between the ages of 18 and 74 are estimated to be engaged in entrepreneurial activity in the US in 20048, only a small proportion, about 2% expect their firm or its products/services to have major impacts on markets or economic structures.  Those who believe they will have major impact are concentrated in those undertaking the first steps towards creating a new firm.  The majority of start-ups, new firms, and established firms expect little or no impact on market structures as they are replicating existing business activities and showing little if any innovativeness.9 Yet it is that very small number of start-ups that bring to market the majority of new products and services that are reshaping the market place.  Many of these innovations are in technological innovations.

How entrepreneurship supports innovativeness

  • 10  S. Shane and S. Venkataraman, “Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Issue on Technology Entr (...)
  • 11  J. A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, op. cit.
  • 12  A. H. Van de Ven, “Central Problems in the Management of Innovations”, Management Science, vol. 32 (...)
  • 13  M.P. Feldman and C. R. Ronzio, “Closing the Innovative Loop: Moving from the Laboratory to the Sho (...)

8Scientific advances are accelerating, changing technological and business paradigms while impacting firm organizations and industrial structures. One could assume technology entrepreneurship, the creation of new ventures based on technological innovations, is well researched. However, as Shane and Venkataraman10 note technology entrepreneurship while resting between two well researched areas, innovations management and entrepreneurship, has yet to be fully explored. Innovations management has often been synonymous with R&D management and product development and has been studied from numerous perspectives. There are different forms of innovative activity with different contextual origins and there has been substantial effort since Schumpeter11 in defining common elements of a wide range of innovations. The nature of different kinds of innovations has been studied, i.e. product, process, business concept, business model, incremental, radical, architectural, disruptive, and value innovations. Context has also been studied through the role of regional agglomerations of high technology high growth firms.12 Entrepreneurship is also a large discipline, but when focused on technology based firms the research has addressed such topics as the technology transfer process to entrepreneurial firms, strategy and financing in venture capital backed firms, intensity and diversity in early stage technology firms, the effects of the competitive environment on new technology firms, triggering factors for technology start-ups, etc.13

Entrepreneurial orientation: innovativeness and the reality of risk

  • 14  H.E. Aldrich and E. Auster, “Even Dwarfs started Small: Liabilities of Size and Age and their Stra (...)
  • 15 Paul D. Reynolds and Sammis B. White, The Entrepreneurial Process: Economic Growth, Men, Women, and (...)

9Policy makers have been trying to come up with means to increase economic growth. This is driven by the desire to increase employment and taxable income. Since entrepreneurship and innovation are sources of economic growth and prosperity, policy makers have come to promote venture creation and innovation. The idea is that new firms should generate a significant growth in employment – the image of ‘smoke-stack industry’. This perception assumes that new firms employ lots of persons. Reality is different – most would-be entrepreneurs never succeed in creating organizations, only half of all potential founders succeed in creating an enterprise, most firms start small are short lived or at best remain small, change little, if at all.14 Only 3 percent grow beyond 100 persons15 most never add any employees at all. Despite these not so encouraging odds policy makers continue to push for economic growth by endorsing entrepreneurship and innovation.

Creativity and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition

  • 16  H. Etzkowitz and L. Leydesdorff, “The Dynamics of Innovation: From National Systems and “Mode 2” t (...)
  • 17 Ibid, 111.
  • 18 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, op. cit.

10To meet the dreams of commercially viable innovation and increased employment there is a need to significantly increase entrepreneurial activity, which then calls for some kind of mechanism to ‘engineer’ the situation. To many policy makers this mechanism is an innovation system, which exists on firm, regional, national, transnational levels. Many regional and national innovations systems rest on a rationale known as the Triple Helix model providing a conceptual framework for the relationships between university, industry, and government.16 The ideal form would be to generate “…a knowledge infrastructure in terms of overlapping institutional spheres, with each taking the role of the other and with hybrid organizations emerging at the interfaces”.17 Interestingly, this model assumes that if university, industry and government interact something spectacular will occur: entrepreneurs and ideas will appear. The problem is that based on, e.g. US 2004 data18 this is not taking place. In many countries the total entrepreneurial activity has decreased. It is argued that one reason is that many innovation systems do not include the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is assumed to exist. The fact that, in the case of the Triple Helix model, industry, state and university interact does not necessarily lead to entrepreneurial action as entrepreneurship is an individual activity based on an internal drive. Although the Triple Helix model tries to move away from centralized engineering of entrepreneurship the reality proves quite the opposite. Unfortunately, there is the painful reality that too many governments think “Ah, ALL we have to do is promote new R&D; that’s enough! Or, “all we need is to establish some impressive bureaucratic mechanisms and jobs will happen”. This can be true but only if there exist a reasonable pool of entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs. But you still need the human element as the bridging asset to make technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship come together fruitfully.

Culture and Entrepreneurship

  • 19  P. Drucker, Post Capitalist Society, New York: Harper Business Press, 1993.
  • 20  Paul Herbig, The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation, Westport, C (...)
  • 21 Ibidem, 52.
  • 22  A.F.C. Wallace, Culture and Personality, New York: Random House, 1970.
  • 23  A. Shapero and L. Sokol, “The Social Dimensions of Entrepreneurship”, in C. Ken., D. Sexton and K. (...)
  • 24  R. Rothwell and H. Wissema, “Technology, Culture and Public Policy”, Technovation, vol. 4, no. 2, (...)
  • 25  G. Hofstede, “Dimensions of National Cultures in Fifty Countries and Three Regions”, inExpiscation (...)

11Within the larger context, historical and cultural traditions of a society—particularly those regarding technology, science and enterprise—will shape its rates of innovation.19 As Herbig20 notes: “The level of innovation within a society is directly proportional to the encouragement and status given to entrepreneurial efforts within the culture and to the emphasis given it relative to the survival of the culture national goal”.21 Culture shapes the tolerance for new ideas22, attitudes towards business formation23, and predisposition towards innovation.24 Not unexpectedly, cultures that enshrine individualism, including those whose religions stress achievement and self-reliance, are far more likely to stimulate and sustain innovativeness.25

The Role of Clusters

  • 26  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy” (...)
  • 27  M. Piore and C. Sabel, The Second Industrial Divide, New York: Basic Books, 1984; M. Kenny and R. (...)

12Although entrepreneurs can survive and thrive in a multiplicity of environments, both favorable and unfavorable, it is clusters where enclaves of entrepreneurs, their suppliers and customers, interact to create wealth, growth, and foster innovation. Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions (e.g., universities, standards agencies, trade associations) in a particular field that compete but also cooperate.26  The strategies that a well-developed cluster uses to cultivate entrepreneurship, provide powerful advantages to productivity and the capacity to innovate.  Networking is a key component of clusters and an important factor influencing entrepreneurship, because it facilitates both economic and non-economic resources to start and sustain a new business—including the transfer of knowledge and maximizes the advantages of location.27

Advantages and Benefits of Clusters

  • 28  H.O. Rocha and R. Sternberg, “Entrepreneurship: The Role of Clusters Theoretical Perspectives and (...)

13Clusters foster entrepreneurship utilizing three important strategies: establishing relationships, gaining credibility, and developing complementary linkages. These strategies increase the perception of available opportunities, facilitate the transfer of essential resources to make use of such opportunities and enhance the existing motivation and decision to start a new business due to the higher probability of accessible pioneers within a cluster.  When it comes to fostering entrepreneurship, clusters have an advantage over industrial agglomeration due to the latter’s inconsistency and unavailability of network and socio-economic factors.28

  • 29  M. Granovetter, “Economic-Action and Social-Structure—the Problem of Embeddedness”, American Journ (...)
  • 30  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy” (...)

14Establishing relationships is a form of social capital and network engagement29, which correlates with the fact that people generally initiate start-ups in areas where they were born, grew up, have worked, and/or have reside.  This also explains why nascent entrepreneurs tend to be well established in their professions, lives and communities.  Developing relationships and networking is not simply a component of clusters but a critical aspect of this network of local entrepreneurship as well, because it facilities the economic and non-economic resources to start and sustain a new firm, enhancing partnerships, relieving competition, and encouraging trade of valuable information.  Proximity when involving the location and interaction of companies, customers, suppliers, and other institutions, reinforces all of the pressures to innovate and advance.30 Consequently, this endeavor will counterbalance the possible negative effects of increased competition and newcomer entrepreneurs.  

15As for gaining credibility, this begins by maintaining relationships with existing networks of colleagues from previous associations. Other local entrepreneurs that have started firms may serve as example or reference groups in order to reduce ambiguity; instead, thereby providing the encouragement to start businesses.

  • 31  R. Baptista and P. Swann, “Globalization and the Localization of Firms: Do firms in Clusters Innov (...)
  • 32  H.O. Rocha, “Entrepreneurship and Development: The Role of Clusters. A Literature Review”, Small B (...)

16Clusters contribute to the rate of the business development by providing the opportunity to profit from the complementary and surplus from technological resources, skills, information, marketing, and customer needs transcend any firm and industries.  The collaboration between businesses of related industry and the focus of certain cluster aspects (e.g., specialized knowledge contribution) is the reason clusters generate dynamic external economies instead of static localization economies commonly seen in industrial agglomerations. One of the reasons of clusters’ existence and sustainability is due to the accessibility of external and shared knowledge as well as such surplus and/or complementary resources.31  Resources involving technology tend to be geographically localized while certain regions gather surplus resources that attract and support innovators.  This will create regional sets of dimensions and have implications in the standards at the regional level as well as balance between regional and national industrial R&D policy.  Regions with clusters will have minimal intraregional displacement because of such established networks.32  Moreover, “the differentiation among clustered firms leads to functional complementarities that create mutual effects and therefore neutralize the negatives effects of sourcing from the same resource pool”.

  • 33  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy” (...)

17Clusters have the advantage of perceiving the need and the opportunity for innovation, having the flexibility to take upon such opportunity and creating the capacity to act upon them.33 A firm within a cluster often can supply the new product or service and/or other elements that are necessary to employ innovation in any form.  As local suppliers/partners are involved in the innovation process, the outcomes are aimed to meet firm’s requirement by recruiting locally specialized personnel, decreasing production cost, and delaying extensive commitments until there is guarantee of a new product, process, or service undergoing development.  Unlike businesses that utilize outsourcing which face greater challenges in the areas of contracts, delivery, technical and service support, and coordination throughout its related industry.  

18Clusters play an important role in economic development by offering cost advantages and minimize difficulties faced in start-ups.  The continuous interrelation among the firms within and informality of the structure found in clusters encourages trust, strong communication, market relationships. Large companies face obstacles that minimize the opportunity to innovate; therefore, new business development in clusters increases the innovation process and larger businesses are akin to this because new relationships evolve.

Fueling Innovation

19The benefits firms in clusters have over those that remain in isolation clearly exist and promote innovation. By fostering localized knowledge in the economy, new products and processes emerge, facilitated by the geographical proximity in “new industrial areas”.34 The relationships developed, the trade of knowledge, the combination of multiple firms within related industries, production of expertise and specialized information, and established supplier and buyer information are the advantages the firms within a cluster have as they fuel innovation. Due to these advantages, clusters can distinguish market trends more rapidly compared to an isolated type of competitor.  There are computer companies in clusters located in Silicon Valley and Texas which are plug into customer needs and trends quickly, effectively, and easily that it said to be almost impossible to match.  Another advantage of participating in clusters is being able to understand and develop new technology, operational infrastructures and delivering systems, marketing strategies, and maximize use of available resources.  

  • 35  R. Baptista and Swann P., “Globalization and the Localization of Firms: Do firms in Clusters Innov (...)
  • 36  P. Aydalot and D. Keeble, High Technology Industry and Innovative Environments, London: Routledge, (...)
  • 37  I. Gordon and P. McCann, “Clusters, Innovation and Regional Development: An Analysis of Current Th (...)

20In addition, the accessibility of other entities such as universities as well as larger firms within the clusters provides facilitates resources like knowledge and insights that isolated types of firms lack. Finally, regions with strong presence of firms of related industry drive innovation and strengthen clusters.35 In essence, an “innovative milieu”36 enables small firms to maximize their advantages of industrial agglomeration and regional development in developing as well as developed countries.37

Examples from Three Biotechnology Clusters

21We illustrate the dynamics between entrepreneurship, clustering, and innovativeness through the commercial field of biotechnology in three regional clusters: the Bay Area, Boston, and Philadelphia.

  • 38  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Are (...)

22 Biotechnological innovations first developed scientifically in university labs in the 1970s, saw the founding of hundreds of small science based firms in the 1980s, and matured in the 1990s with the release of dozens of new therapeutics.38 The field is notable for both its scientific progress as well as a few commercial breakthroughs. However, overall, the commercial development of the field has been slower than many would have expected.  The field of biotechnology is characterized by a diverse cast of organizational players, including commercial companies of various size, universities and other public research organizations, government laboratories, and venture capital firms.

  • 39  Cynthia Robbins-Roth, From Alchemy to IPO, Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2000; K. Porter, K. (...)
  • 40  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Are (...)

23In the institutional front, 1980 was the year when the Supreme Court approved the patenting of genetically engineered biological material, while the U.S. Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act, allowing U.S. universities to retain intellectual property rights to the commercial applications based on basic research funded by federal grants. Finally, in the same year, Genentech had a hugely successful initial public offering. These events are regarded as a catalyst to the legitimation of biotechnology.39 From these beginnings on, and without much doubt, the San Francisco Bay area and Cambridge/Boston have been and continue to be the world’s largest and most commercially successful biotechnology regions. The attributes of these regions are widely studied, and despite similarities in outcomes, each region has emerged through a distinctive process. These variations have been argued to suggest that there are multiple pathways to successful outcomes.40

  • 41  <www.ey.com>

24Consulting company Ernst & Young has produced comprehensive annual reports on the biotechnology industry since 1987.41 According to their 2004 report, there are approximately 1470 dedicated biotechnology companies in the US. Out of these, 420 are in California, 193 in Massachusetts, and 63 in Pennsylvania. Below, we describe the development and current state of these three biotechnology clusters, namely San Francisco Bay Area, Boston area, and Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley area, with an emphasis on the interplay of entrepreneurship, clustering, and innovativeness.

Biotechnology in the San Francisco Bay Area

  • 42  Martha Prevezer, “The Dynamics of Industrial Clustering in Biotechnology”, Small Business Economic (...)

25The birth of modern biotechnology industry dates to 1973 and a series of patent applications that were filed by Professors Stan Cohen of Stanford University and Herb Boyer of the University of California at San Francisco. In addition to scientific discoveries, other reasons why the biotechnology industry took root around San Francisco are owing to the heritage of the computing industry and Silicon Valley. This high technology field had created a presence venture capital with expertise in starting and growing technology companies. In addition, high job mobility contributed to the rapid spread of new ideas inthe area.42

26Biotechnology in the Bay Area is characterized by a closeness of commercial biotechnologies to the science, and the science base has remained a critical source of innovation. Another important feature has been the stock market’s role in raising new capital for start-up companies making initial public offerings. Bay Area is known as a hotspot of technology entrepreneurship, and knowledge spillover effects between firms are a result of the mobility of workforce as well as communication in social networks. Also, California has implemented legislative initiatives that encourage investments in biotechnology research. For example, to encourage high technology, California has the highest R&D tax credit in the nation for qualifying expenses.

Biotechnology in Boston area

  • 43  James D. Watson, DNA: The Secret of Life, New York: Knopf, 2003.
  • 44  K. Porter et al., “The Institutional Embeddedness of High-tech Regions: Relational Foundations of (...)

27The first organizational foundings in biotechnology in Boston occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Unlike in California, where biotechnology was greeted with enthusiasm, in Boston there was much more contention.43 In addition to unfavorable legislative environment, a relative absence of a venture capital community stamped the early development of biotechnology in Boston. On the science side, however, strong local research universities were a source of knowledge spillovers and innovation seeds to commercial biotechnology firms.44

  • 45  Cynthia Robbins-Roth, From Alchemy to IPO, op. cit
  • 46  K. Porter et al., “The Institutional Embeddedness of High-tech Regions: Relational Foundations of (...)

28Major firms in Boston include Biogen, Genzyme, and Genetics Institute. Biogen chose a strategy of licensing its lead development projects to large pharmaceutical companies rather than pursuing the more independent and innovative path typical for firms in California. Genzyme’s early days were heavily influenced by individuals who left the large health care corporation, Baxter.45 Genetics Institute, like many of its Californian counterparts, attempted to develop a genetically engineered medicine that was a biotech alternative to an existing pharmaceutical product.46

  • 47  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Are (...)

29To summarize, even though both the Bay Area and the Boston biotechnology clusters started to develop around the same time and have both grown into successful, globally known biotechnology hubs, the drivers of development in the two areas have been somewhat different. In Boston, there is a strong public research organization imprint, whereas the notable entrepreneurial activities typical for the Bay area have often been attributed to the significant venture capital influence. In Boston, world class researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and Harvard and Boston Universities, have acted as role models for other scientists. For example, the role of Professor Robert Langer at MIT in creating a portfolio of successful biotechnology start-ups has had a positive effect on the already strong entrepreneurial climate. Partly because of their roots deeper in publicly supported research, Boston-based biotech companies have focused more on orphan drugs and medicines for well-defined patient groups than have Bay Area firms, which have aimed their R&D efforts at larger markets with potential blockbuster medicines.47 The industry in Boston is highly concentrated in Cambridge while the Bay Area industry is spread between San Francisco and its neighboring cities of Oakland and San Jose.

Biotechnology in Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley area

30The development dynamics and current stage of biotechnology cluster in the Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley area are rather different from the other two areas described above. Pennsylvania is an important hub of biotechnology firms in the US, and the center of activities is Philadelphia.  

  • 48  Joseph T. Llobrera, David R. Meyer, and Gregory Nammacher 2000, “Trajectories of Industrial Distri (...)

31The Philadelphia medical district, with its large pharmaceutical firms, was established by the mid-1950s. During the past two decades more than 100 biotechnology firms have sprouted in the greater Philadelphia area. This transformation from a traditional drug- and pharmaceutical base into biotechnology is a result of several interrelated elements, such as the concentration of academic, medical, and research-oriented institutions; the presence of large pharmaceutical companies; availability of capital; and coordinated support or government and private organizations. The three state area around Philadelphia, including eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, accounts for about 80 per cent of the production of pharmaceuticals in the US.48

  • 49  F. McGurty, “Survey of Greater Philadelphia”, Financial Times, 4 May, 1994, 3.
  • 50  Joseph T. Llobrera et al., “Trajectories of Industrial Districts: Impact of Strategic Intervention (...)

32As of the mid-1990s, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals comprised the fastest growing industrial sectors of the Greater Philadelphia.49 High quality academic research institutions and the traditions in pharmaceutical industry in the area provided a good basis for this growth, but compared to the two other clusters described above, the area has suffered from limited venture capital funds and insufficient support for entrepreneurial activities of individuals. Lately, these barriers have been partly overcome by forging partnerships and building networks of collaboration. Coalitions of academia, corporations, and government such as the Ben Franklin Partnership and the Greater Philadelphia Partnership have been hubs in local social networks. They have also given structure and direction to the venture capital accumulation in the area. In addition, other intermediary structures have helped academic institutions to translate scientific breakthroughs into commercial products.50

33Table 1 below provides some descriptive figures about the three biotechnology clusters. Clearly, the Bay Area cluster ranks highest when measured with investment activities as well as many of the other measures. However, it is interesting to note that the Philadelphia area cluster, driven mainly be the large medical companies, has a high patenting activity. In the initial years of the industry, these biotechnology related patents from Philadelphia area even outnumbered Bay Area and Boston.

Table 1. Selected descriptive figures of biotech activities in San Francisco Bay Area, Boston / Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley

aConnecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island.
Ernst & Young, Beyond Borders: The global Biotechnology Report, London: Ernst & Young, 2005.
San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose.
Boston, Worchester, Lawrence.
Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City.
Joseph Cortright and Heike Mayer, Signs of Life: The Growth of Biotechnology Centers in the U.S.,   Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, 2002.
Maryann Feldman, “The Locational Dynamics of the U.S. Biotech Industry: Knowledge Externalities and the Anchor Hypothesis”, DRUID Conference Paper, 2002.
Laboratories of innovation: State bioscience initiatives 2004. BIO—Biotechnology Industry Organization, 2004.

34The field of biotechnology is an example of a knowledge intensive industry, where companies worldwide tend to cluster into same geographical areas. In this rapidly developing field, a large part of scientific progress that leads to successful innovations originates from research universities. Spin-offs from universities and research laboratories tend to concentrate in areas close to the organizations they originate from. These areas attract skilled workforce as well as venture capital, and a self-reinforcing cycle leads to concentration of more firms in the same locale. In the long run, these firms may benefit from knowledge spillovers as well as reputation benefits of being a part of an established cluster.

35As illustrated by the comparison of the three biotechnology clusters, technological innovativeness in a geographical cluster can be driven by a variety of forces. In the case of both Boston and San Francisco Bay Area, the early jump start to biotechnology was driven by high quality scientific research in the areas’ universities. This, coupled with the availability of financing for innovative business ideas, has led to a continuous growth of biotech related activities in these areas. A take home message for regional developers from the examples of Boston and San Francisco seems to be that maintaining a high level ofresearch in local universities could be one recipe for pioneering future’s technological clusters. A differentkind of example from the Philadelphia area illustrates how existing technological and manufacturing competencies in the pharmaceutical industry have been expanded to the emerging field of biotechnology. In this, local initiatives that have supported networking among area actors, development of local venture capital community, as well as transfer of knowledge from universities to commercial applications have had a key role to play. Table 2 compares key aspects of the three biotechnology clusters.

Table 2. Comparison of the areas

Bay Area

Boston area

Philadelphia

Innovation “outputs”

High numbers of biotechnology related patents, numerous successful firms, both private and public.

Lots of patenting activity but the total amount of biotech related patents smaller than in the two other areas. Numerous successful firms, both private and public.

Lots of patenting activity, partly accountable to the pharmaceutical incumbents. Not as many biotech firms as in the other two areas but still a high number compared to nation average.

Innovation “inputs”

Numerous experienced VC* firms investing in biotech. Large research universities as a source of knowledge spillovers.

Numerous experienced VC firms, but the average size of investment in smaller than in the Bay Area. Large research universities as a source of knowledge spillovers.

VC available but not to the same extent as in the two other areas. Universities support cluster development but do not have as long traditions in biotech related research as major research universities in the two other areas.

Beginnings of biotech “boom”

Early start, driven by scientific research in the area and VC.

Early start, driven by scientific research in the area.

Late start, driven by pharmaceutical incumbents and their spin-offs as well as local policies.

Distinguishing factors driving cluster development.

Area attracts entrepreneurial talents from all over the world.
Few formal organizations devoted to cluster development.

Universities and large biotech firms as focal players in the cluster.

Local policies and formal organizations that promote networking and provide infrastructure. Important role of pharmaceutical incumbents as network hubs.

*VC=venture capital firms

36Profiled in the Annex are three biotechnology firms—one in each of the three geographic clusters. These entrepreneurial enterprises exhibit unique, distinct, and creative products and strategies that have achieved notable success in the marketplace.

Conclusions

  • 51 BUSINESS WEEK, “Get Creative! How to Build Innovative Companies”, August 1, 2005.
  • 52  J. Meyer-Stamer, “Paradoxes and Ironies of Locational Policy in the New Global Economy”, in C. Kar (...)
  • 53  M. Péron, “Éthique et entreprise”, in Nathalie Champroux and Olivier Frayssé (eds.), Entreprises e (...)

37The Knowledge Economy is further evolving, gravitating towards a Creative Economy—one in which innovation will play an even larger role in transforming entire industries and sectors. Biotechnology is no exception.51 By harnessing the energies and cooperative potential of the Triple Helix--academe, industry, and government—in geographic clusters combined with the creative power of entrepreneurs, this industry will be able to retain and even expand its competitive position in global markets. Critical in this process, however, is “streamlining governments’ interaction with business in order to minimize transaction costs”.52 Important, though often overlooked as well, is the ethical orientation of these firms and their public perception.53

38The examples from three areas in the US prove that there are many alternative ways to achieve innovativeness in a geographic cluster. Each area demonstrates a different kind of balance between entrepreneurship and clustering variables, but all areas have high innovation output figures. There is no one proven formula for achieving innovativeness, but a compelling message that resonates loudly is that entrepreneurship and regional clustering matter.

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Notes

1  Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents, New York: W.W. Norton, 2003; Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004; Martin Wolf, Why Globalization Works, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004; P. Zarifian, L’échelle du monde: globalisation, altermondialisme, mondialité, Paris: La Dispute, 2004; Michel-Henri Bouchet, La Globalisation, Paris: Pearson, 2005.

2  W. B. Gartner, “Some Suggestions for Research on Entrepreneurial Traits and Characteristics”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, vol. 14, 1989, 27-37.

3  C.J. Schramm, “Building Entrepreneurial Economies”, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2004, 104-115.

4  Z.J. Acs et al., GEM 2004 Global Report, 2005.

5  J. A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press, 1934.

6  S. Shane and S. Venkataraman, “Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Issue on Technology Entrepreneurship”, Research Policy, vol. 32, no. 2, 2003, 181-184; I.M. Kirzner, Competition and Entrepreneurship, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973; I.M. Kirzner, Perception, Opportunity and Profit: Studies in the Theory of Entrepreneurship, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

7  W. B. Gartner, “Some Suggestions for Research on Entrepreneurial Traits and Characteristics”, op. cit.

8 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, Small Business Economics, 2005.

9 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, op. cit.

10  S. Shane and S. Venkataraman, “Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Issue on Technology Entrepreneurship”, op. cit.

11  J. A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, op. cit.

12  A. H. Van de Ven, “Central Problems in the Management of Innovations”, Management Science, vol. 32, no. 5, 1986, 590-607; D. J. Teece, “Technological Change and the Nature of the Firm”, in G. Dosi, C. Freeman, R. Nelson, G. Silverberg, and L. Soete (eds.), Technical Change and Economic Theory, London: Pinter Publishers, 1988, 256-294; FLYNN D. M., “A Critical Exploration of Sponsorship, Infrastructure, and New Organisations”, Small Business Economics, vol. 5, 1993, 129-156; Annalee Saxenian, Regional Advantage, Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994; R. Henderson and I. Cockburn, “Measuring Competence? Exploring Firm Effects in Pharmaceutical Research”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 15, no. 8, 1994, 63-84; Kim W. Chan and R. Mauborgne, “Creating New Market Space”, Harvard Business Review, January-February, 1999, 83-93; A. Russel, “Biotechnology as a Technological Paradigm in the Global Knowledge Structure”, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, vol. 11, no. 2, 1999, 235-254; M. Pitt and K. Clarke, “Competing on Competence: A Knowledge Perspective on the Management of Strategic Innovations”, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, vol. 11, no. 3, 1999, 301-317; P. C. Ensign, “Innovation in the Multinational Firm with Globally Dispersed R&D: Technological Knowledge Utilization and Accumulation”, Journalof High Technology Management Research, 10 (2), 1999, 203-221; Paul Westhead, S. Batstone and M. Frank, “Technology-Based Firms Located on Science Parks: The Applicability of Bullock’s ‘Soft-Hard’ Model”, Enterprise and Innovations Management Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 2000.

13  M.P. Feldman and C. R. Ronzio, “Closing the Innovative Loop: Moving from the Laboratory to the Shop Floor in Biotechnology Manufacturing”, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, vol. 13, no. 1, 2001, 1-16; M. Simon, S.M. Houghton, and K. Aquino, “Cognitive Biases, Risk Perception, and Venture Formation: How Individuals Decide to Start Companies”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 15, no. 2, 2000, 113-134; S.B. Preece, G. Miles, and M.C. Baetz, “Explaining the International Intensity and Global Diversity of Early Stage Technology-based Firms”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 14, no. 3, 1999, 259-281; B. Harmon, A. Ardishvili, R. Cardozo, T. Elder, J. Leuthold, J. Parhall, M. Raghian, and M. Smith, “Executive Forum, Mapping the University Technology Transfer Process”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 12, no. 6, 1997, 423-434; M.B. Low and E. Abrahamson, “Movements, bandwagons, and clones: Industry evolution and the entrepreneurial process”, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 12, no. 6, 1997, 435-457; Alan L. Carsrud et al., “Creating an International High Technology Incubator: the Case of the UCLA Venture Development Program”, CIBER Working Paper Series, 1999; E.B. Roberts, Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

14  H.E. Aldrich and E. Auster, “Even Dwarfs started Small: Liabilities of Size and Age and their Strategic Implications”, in B.M. Staw and L.L. Cummings (eds.), Research in Organizational Behaviour, vol. 8, Greenwich: JAI Press, 1986, 165-198.

15 Paul D. Reynolds and Sammis B. White, The Entrepreneurial Process: Economic Growth, Men, Women, and Minorities, Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 1997; H.E. Aldrich and M.A. Martinez, “Many are Called but Few are Chose: an Evolutionary Perspective for the Study of Entrepreneurship”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, vol. 25, no. 4, 2001.

16  H. Etzkowitz and L. Leydesdorff, “The Dynamics of Innovation: From National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations”, Research Policy, vol. 29, no. 22, 2000, 109-123.

17 Ibid, 111.

18 Paul D. Reynolds, “Entrepreneurship Research Innovator, Coordinator, and Disseminator”, op. cit.

19  P. Drucker, Post Capitalist Society, New York: Harper Business Press, 1993.

20  Paul Herbig, The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation, Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 1994.

21 Ibidem, 52.

22  A.F.C. Wallace, Culture and Personality, New York: Random House, 1970.

23  A. Shapero and L. Sokol, “The Social Dimensions of Entrepreneurship”, in C. Ken., D. Sexton and K. Vesper (eds.), Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1982.

24  R. Rothwell and H. Wissema, “Technology, Culture and Public Policy”, Technovation, vol. 4, no. 2, 1986, 91-115.

25  G. Hofstede, “Dimensions of National Cultures in Fifty Countries and Three Regions”, inExpiscations in Cross Cultural Psychology, Lise, Netherlands: Swets and Zeiltinger, 1983; McClelland D., The Achieving Society, Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1961.

26  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy”, Economic Development Quarterly, vol.14, no. 1, 2000, 15-34.

27  M. Piore and C. Sabel, The Second Industrial Divide, New York: Basic Books, 1984; M. Kenny and R. Florida (eds.), Locating Global Advantage, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.

28  H.O. Rocha and R. Sternberg, “Entrepreneurship: The Role of Clusters Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Evidence from Germany”, Small Business Economies, vol. 24, 2005, 267-292.

29  M. Granovetter, “Economic-Action and Social-Structure—the Problem of Embeddedness”, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 91, 1985, 481-510.

30  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy”, op. cit.

31  R. Baptista and P. Swann, “Globalization and the Localization of Firms: Do firms in Clusters Innovate More?”, Research Policy , vol. 27,  1998, 525-540.

32  H.O. Rocha, “Entrepreneurship and Development: The Role of Clusters. A Literature Review”, Small Business Economics, vol. 23, no. 5, 2004, 363-400.

33  M.E. Porter, “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy”, op. cit.

34  Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. “Learning in Cities”, Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 46, no. 2, 1999, 254-277; Annalee Saxenian, Regional Advantage, Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, op. cit.

35  R. Baptista and Swann P., “Globalization and the Localization of Firms: Do firms in Clusters Innovate More?”, op. cit.

36  P. Aydalot and D. Keeble, High Technology Industry and Innovative Environments, London: Routledge, 1998; R. P. Camagni, “The Concept of Innovative Milieu and its Relevance for Public Policies in European Lagging Regions”, Papers  in Regional Sciences, vol. 74, 1995, 317-40.

37  I. Gordon and P. McCann, “Clusters, Innovation and Regional Development: An Analysis of Current Theories and Evidence”, in C. Karlsson, B. Johansson, and Roger Stough (eds.), Industrial Clusters and Inter-Firm Networks, Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2005; H. Schmitz (ed.), Local Economies in the Global Economy, Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2004.

38  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Area Biotechnology”, 2004, <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jdos/cluster_genesis.pdf>

39  Cynthia Robbins-Roth, From Alchemy to IPO, Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2000; K. Porter, K. Whittington, and W. Powell, “The Institutional Embeddedness of High-tech Regions: Relational Foundations of the Boston Biotechnology Community”, 2004,

<http://www.stanford.edu/~kcbunker/Research/Porter_etal_OUPFinalDraft_20040817.pdf>

40  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Area Biotechnology”, op. cit.

41  <www.ey.com>

42  Martha Prevezer, “The Dynamics of Industrial Clustering in Biotechnology”, Small Business Economics, vol. 9, 1997, 255-271.

43  James D. Watson, DNA: The Secret of Life, New York: Knopf, 2003.

44  K. Porter et al., “The Institutional Embeddedness of High-tech Regions: Relational Foundations of the Boston Biotechnology Community”, op. cit.

45  Cynthia Robbins-Roth, From Alchemy to IPO, op. cit

46  K. Porter et al., “The Institutional Embeddedness of High-tech Regions: Relational Foundations of the Boston Biotechnology Community”, op. cit.

47  Jason Owen-Smith and Walter W. Powell, “Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Area Biotechnology”, op. cit.

48  Joseph T. Llobrera, David R. Meyer, and Gregory Nammacher 2000, “Trajectories of Industrial Districts: Impact of Strategic Intervention in Medical Districts”, Economic Geography, vol. 76, no. 1, January 2000, 68-98; Anthony  M. Santomero, “Forces Shaping Philadelphia’s Future”, Business ReviewFederal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Fourth Quarter 2002.

49  F. McGurty, “Survey of Greater Philadelphia”, Financial Times, 4 May, 1994, 3.

50  Joseph T. Llobrera et al., “Trajectories of Industrial Districts: Impact of Strategic Intervention in Medical Districts”, op. cit.

51 BUSINESS WEEK, “Get Creative! How to Build Innovative Companies”, August 1, 2005.

52  J. Meyer-Stamer, “Paradoxes and Ironies of Locational Policy in the New Global Economy”, in C. Karlsson, B. Johansson, and Roger Stough (eds.), Industrial Clusters and Inter-Firm Networks, Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2005.

53  M. Péron, “Éthique et entreprise”, in Nathalie Champroux and Olivier Frayssé (eds.), Entreprises et entrepreneurs dans leur environnement en Grande-Bretagne et aux États-Unis, Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2005.

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Titre Figure 1. Nexus of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Clusters
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Jerry Haar, Maija Renko et Alan L. Carsrud, « What Drives Innovativeness? Entrepreneurship and Regional Clustering in Three Biotechnology Hotspots », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, Vol. IV - n°1 | 2006, 269-290.

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Jerry Haar, Maija Renko et Alan L. Carsrud, « What Drives Innovativeness? Entrepreneurship and Regional Clustering in Three Biotechnology Hotspots », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. IV - n°1 | 2006, mis en ligne le 26 octobre 2009, consulté le 20 septembre 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/2342 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/lisa.2342

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Auteurs

Jerry Haar

Maija Renko

Alan L. Carsrud

(Miami, United States)
Jerry Haar and Alan Carsrud are professors and Maija Renko is a doctoral student in the Department of Management and International Business in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University. Dr. Haar is also associate director of the Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management, and Dr. Carsrud is director of the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center. The authors thank Karym Urdaneta of the Pino Center’s Institute for Technology Innovation for her invaluable research assistance.

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