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The knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups: what do patent citations to non-patent literature reveal?

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  • Stefano Brusoni
  • Paola Criscuolo
  • Aldo Geuna

Abstract

This article examines the knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups by sales. It builds upon the concepts of knowledge specialisation and knowledge integration as the relevant dimensions along which knowledge bases can be mapped. The former is studied developing indicators of breadth. Breadth is measured by analysing the evolution of specialisation by scientific field over time. It hints at the widening range of bodies of scientific and technological knowledge relevant to firms' innovative activities. Knowledge integration is studied developing indicators of depth. Depth is measured by analysing the evolution of integration across different typologies of research. It hints at the complex, non-linear interdependencies that link the scientific and technological domains. We develop the analysis on the strength of an original database of 33,127 European Patent Office patents and 41,931 citations to 'non-patent document' (of which 19,494 were identified as scientific articles included in the ISI databases) of the 30 largest pharmaceuticals groups during the period 1990-1997. The groups studied seem to have incrementally increased the breadth of their knowledge bases, moving towards the fields proper to the new biopharmaceutical research trajectory. At the same time, some of the groups studied exhibit remarkable depth in knowledge integration in particular fields such as biotechnology, biochemical research and neurosciences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 395-415

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:14:y:2005:i:5:p:395-415

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Related research

Keywords: Knowledge bases; Breadth; Depth; Integration; Patent citations; Scientific publications; Pharmaceuticals;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Larsen, Maria Theresa, 2011. "The implications of academic enterprise for public science: An overview of the empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 6-19, February.
  2. Leten, Bart & Kelchtermans, Stijn & Belderbos, Ren, 2010. "Internal Basic Research, External Basic Research and the Technological Performance of Pharmaceutical Firms," Working Papers, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management 2010/12, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  3. Anna Comacchio & Sara Bonesso & Claudio Pizzi, 2012. "Boundary spanning between industry and university: the role of Technology Transfer Centres," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 943-966, December.
  4. Stefano Brusoni & Paola Criscuolo & Aldo Geuna, 2003. "The Knowledge Bases of the World's Largest Pharmaceuticals Groups: what do Patent Citations to Non-Patent Literature Reveal?," SPRU Working Paper Series, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex 90, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

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