Success as Science but Burden for Business? : On the difficult relationship between scientific advancement and innovation

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Department of Business Studies

Sammanfattning: Today, a general policy and investment recipe for economic growth and innovation, on both a national and an international level, is to base commercial ventures on novel scientific solutions. From this perspective, scientific research is seen as an untapped source of innovation, and the ambition is to make new scientific knowledge more easily transferable to business settings, where it is supposed to generate direct economic benefits.  Since the instigation of the Human Genome Organisation Project in 1990, which set out to map the entire genetic composition of the average human being, great expectations have been put on biotechnology, and it has been viewed as the new gold mine for both scientific and business advancement. Through research it is expected to deliver new scientific knowledge primarily about previously untreatable illnesses and, as an industry, it is expected to produce new technical solutions realising this knowledge. This expectation has directed large amounts of investment capital to biotechnology in the pursuit of capitalising on new scientific discoveries through their commercialisation. This investigation is an empirically based process study of one such innovation process. With a network approach, focusing particularly on resource combinations, this study aims to create a better understanding of what is involved in trying to achieve innovation based on new scientific solutions. The specific case of the commercialisation of pyrosequencing, a new method for the analysis of genetic material, demonstrates the difficulty of making a scientific breakthrough into a useful business resource. The innovation process is investigated from several perspectives. By looking at the development of something new, at its large-scale production, and widespread use, this study shows how these aspects represent vastly different economic logics. It also demonstrates how great a challenge it can be for these to function together in the attempt of achieving successful innovation.

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