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Expectations, Reality and Performance in the Finnish Biotechnology Business


  • Nikulainen, Tuomo
  • Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi
  • Kulvik, Martti


In this paper our aim is to assess the evolution of the Finnish biotechnology sector during the 2000s. Particular focus is given to the growth expectations and realized outcomes of Finnish biotechnology companies, to the evolution of public investments, and to potential determinants of company performance in the sector. The empirical results suggest that there is considerable disparity between the companies growth expectations and actual performance. Roughly one third of the expected sales have materialized. That being said, it should be noted that the sector has witnessed a significant increase in terms of sales and employment. At the same time, the scale of public funding has dramatically fluctuated during the 2000s in part due to public policy changes and in part due to the financial crisis towards the end of the decade. We also aim to identify where the growth in the sector has come from by discussing company growth and profitability. The findings provide important implications for policy makers regarding the potential evolution paths of the Finnish biotechnology business.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikulainen, Tuomo & Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi & Kulvik, Martti, 2012. "Expectations, Reality and Performance in the Finnish Biotechnology Business," Discussion Papers 1286, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1286

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi, 2003. "The Capital Structure of Finnish Biotechnology SMEs - An empirical analysisi," Discussion Papers 864, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    2. Murray, Fiona, 2004. "The role of academic inventors in entrepreneurial firms: sharing the laboratory life," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 643-659, May.
    3. Hermans, Raine & Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi, 2002. "Ownership and Financial Structure of Biotechnology SMEs: Evidence from Finland," Discussion Papers 835, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    4. Nikulainen, Tuomo & Hermans, Raine & Kulvik, Martti, 2006. "Patent citations indicating present value of the biotechnology business," Discussion Papers 1048, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen, 2004. "Growth Inhibitors Of Entrepreneurial Academic Spin-Offs: The Case Of Finnish Biotechnology," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 455-475.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    2. Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2013. "Generating commercial ideas in Finnish universities. The role of interdisciplinarity and networking," ETLA Working Papers 9, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Kulvik, Martti & Tähtinen, Marja & Ylä-Anttila, Pekka, 2013. "Business and Intellectual Capital Development in Financial Riptide - Case Studies of Finnish Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies Dispersing into Global Value Chains," ETLA Reports 17, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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    More about this item


    biotechnology; industry evolution; growth expectations; public investments; company performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance


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