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Development of SMEs and heterogeneity of trajectories: the case of biotechnology in France

  • Mangematin, Vincent
  • Lemarie, Stephane
  • Boissin, Jean-Pierre
  • Catherine, David
  • Corolleur, Frederic
  • Coronini, Roger
  • Trommetter, Michel

Biotechnology is an emergent sector based on the creation of research-intensive Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). While some SMEs are growing, most of them remain small, even those set-up several years ago. What is the pattern of development of the biotech sector? What are the patterns of development of firms? Studies on the development of high-tech SMEs have focused on a business model, in which entrepreneurs rely on growth forecasts to persuade capital investors (business angels and venture capitalists) to invest in a radical innovation project. Firms aim for a world market to industrialise their innovation, and initial public offering (IPO) enables initial investors to make profits that offset risky initial investment. While this model is appealing, it is simply one of the possible models of biotechnology development. Some firms are not designed to experience exponential growth, and choose to target local markets. Moreover, not all firms have the ambition of being listed on the stock exchange. Based on an in-depth analysis of the business and development of 60 French biotech SMEs, this article identifies two business models. By defining the development trajectories of each of these models, it highlights the temporary nature of the emergent model.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 621-638

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:32:y:2003:i:4:p:621-638
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Stéphane Lemarié & Vincent Mangematin & A. Torre, 2001. "Is the Creation and Development of Biotech SMEs Localised? Conclusions Drawn from the French Case," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00424329, HAL.
  2. repec:hal:journl:hal-00422476 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
  4. Maryann Feldman, 1999. "The New Economics Of Innovation, Spillovers And Agglomeration: Areview Of Empirical Studies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 5-25.
  5. Teece, David J. & Rumelt, Richard & Dosi, Giovanni & Winter, Sidney, 1994. "Understanding corporate coherence : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
  6. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
  7. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
  8. Vincent Mangematin, 2000. "Competing business models in the french biotech industry," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00422476, HAL.
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