Scrutinizing a policy ambition to make business out of science : Lessons from Taiwan
Sammanfattning: The promotion of industrial development and economic growth is a vital issue for governments all over the world. The ideals guiding policymakers in their endeavours are that innovations based on new and advanced knowledge are central for industrial and economic development. In this context an issue, highlighted by local as well as national governments has been how to construct a system that can develop cutting-edge science and then transfer it to the business world for use. Although identified generic features of successful regions such as Silicon Valley, have been copied there are few examples of how ambitions to “artificially” create policy supported high-tech based business regions and industries have succeeded. But one of the few successful examples of policy created high-tech industries often mentioned is the Taiwanese semiconductor industry. The envisioned development path of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry forms the foundation of contemporary Taiwanese industrial and innovation policy. This industrial development model applied on biotechnology in Taiwan, however, has been widely criticized for not fulfilling its promises.This study aims to increase the understanding of this observation and sets out to investigate how developed solutions and resources become produced and embedded in business using structures. The dissertation is based on an empirical study of the industrialization of semiconductors and biotechnology in Taiwan, and is analyzed from a resource interaction perspective. By comparing the picture arising from this view with the Taiwanese policy interpretation it is argued that the Taiwanese industrial model is clearly over-simplified, omitting several important factors in the development of industries. The findings of this study are based on the notions that: resource combination occurs in different time and space; the new is always built on existing resource structures and; the users are important as active participants in development processes.
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