Knowledge characteristics and the dynamics of technological alliances in pharmaceuticals: empirical evidence from Europe, US and Japan

Krafft, Jackie; Quatraro, Francesco; Saviotti, Pier
July 2014
Journal of Evolutionary Economics;Jul2014, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p587
Academic Journal
The paper investigates the co-evolutionary patterns of the dynamics of technological alliances and of the structure of the knowledge base in the pharmaceutical sector. The main hypothesis under scrutiny is that technological alliances represent a key resource for firms in knowledge intensive sectors to cope with dramatic changes in the knowledge base, marked by the introduction of discontinuities opening up new technological trajectories. Using patent information and data on technological alliances drawn from the CATI-MERIT database, we compare the evidence concerning the so-called triad regions, i.e. United States, Europe and Japan. The empirical results support the existence of a life cycle in biotechnology affecting the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, the dynamics of alliances is found to depend on (i) the phase of the biotechnology life cycle, (ii) the strength of the region in biotechnology and (iii) the general features of the economic environment of the region.


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