IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Entrepreneurial Experiments in Science Policy: Analizing the Human Genome Project


  • Kenneth G. Huang
  • Fiona E. Murray


We re-conceptualize the role of science policy makers, envisioning and illustrating their move from being simple investors in scientific projects to entrepreneurs who create the conditions for entrepreneurial experiments and initiate them. We argue that reframing science policy around the notion of conducting entrepreneurial experiments – experiments that increase the diversity of technical, organizational and institutional arrangements in which scientific research is conducted – can provide policy makers with a wider repertoire of effective interventions. To illustrate the power of this approach, we analyze the Human Genome Project (HGP) as a set of successful, entrepreneurial experiments in organizational and institutional innovation. While not designed as such, the HGP was an experiment in funding a science project across a variety of organizational settings, including seven public and one private (Celera) research centers. We assess the major characteristics and differences between these organizational choices, using a mix of qualitative and econometric analyses to examine their impact on scientific progress. The planning and direction of the Human Genome Project show that policy makers can use the levers of entrepreneurial experimentation to transform scientific progress, much as entrepreneurs have transformed economic progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth G. Huang & Fiona E. Murray, 2010. "Entrepreneurial Experiments in Science Policy: Analizing the Human Genome Project," DRUID Working Papers 10-22, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:10-22

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yuko Aoyama, 2009. "Entrepreneurship and Regional Culture: The Case of Hamamatsu and Kyoto, Japan," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 495-512.
    2. Florax, Raymond J. G. M. & Folmer, Hendrik & Rey, Sergio J., 2003. "Specification searches in spatial econometrics: the relevance of Hendry's methodology," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 557-579, September.
    3. Michael Fritsch & Oliver Falck, 2007. "New Business Formation by Industry over Space and Time: A Multidimensional Analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 157-172.
    4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    5. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2002. "Growth Regimes over Time and Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 113-124.
    6. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "Germany's Economic Unification: An Assessment after Ten Years," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 113-128, February.
    7. Audretsch, David B. & Fritsch, Michael, 1993. "A Note on the Measurement of Entry Rates," Freiberg Working Papers 1993,05, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. Michael Fritsch, 2004. "Entrepreneurship, entry and performance of new business compared in two growth regimes: East and West Germany," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 525-542, December.
    9. Vinod Sutaria & Donald A. Hicks, 2004. "New firm formation: Dynamics and determinants," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(2), pages 241-262, June.
    10. Joachim Wagner & Rolf Sternberg, 2004. "Start-up activities, individual characteristics, and the regional milieu: Lessons for entrepreneurship support policies from German micro data," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(2), pages 219-240, June.
    11. Christine Tamasy, 2006. "Determinants of regional entrepreneurship dynamics in contemporary Germany: A conceptual and empirical analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 365-384.
    12. Hall, John & Ludwig, Udo, 1995. "German Unification and the 'Market Adoption' Hypothesis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 491-507, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Entrepreneurial Experiments; Science Policy; Human Genome Project;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:10-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keld Laursen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.