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Biotechnological Innovations: Complementarity, Coordination and the Problem of the Anticommons

Listed author(s):
  • Roberto Esposti

Agbiotech innovations are the final outcome of a highly complex system of knowledge, research and technological development. The aim of this paper is to analyse those knowledge modules contributing to the creation and enhancement of biotech innovations in agriculture (mainly, GM varieties . The marked complementarity between these modules may in fact generate serious problems of coordination. Indeed, the strategies of agbiotech companies may be seen as forms of technological portfolio management adopted to address these coordination problems. Nonetheless, these strategies fail to achieve optimal vertical and horizontal coordination of typically non-appropriable (and thus public) modules. From the social perspective, the major problem in drawing up appropriate public research and intellectual property rights policy lies in the need to coordinate both private and public modules, both vertically and horizontally. With particular reference to agbiotech specificities, the paper also examines which of those policies and corporation strategies have actually been implemented to solve the coordination problems, and what additional solutions can be introduced and further enhanced in the future.

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Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)

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Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0004
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