Biotechnology business in Norway: Peripheral advantage, or just periphery?
Research on biotechnology related firms has long been associated with the agglomeration of “dedicated biotechnology firms” and partners such as large corporations, research institutes and venture capital firms. At the same time it is acknowledged that such agglomeration trends may be most closely associated with medical biotechnology. This paper shows that there are more than 130 firms which may be classified as biotechnology related firms in Norway. Furthermore they are spread out throughout the country, albeit with more than half being located in the Eastern part. While there is indeed a great preoccupation with medical biotechnology also in Norway, the survey shows that two other distinct traits are present: a concentration of firms being focused on diagnostics and drug delivery rather than on therapeutics, and a focus on marine biotechnology (more than one third of the firms) within nutrition related products rather than or in addition to medical products. In addition to contributing these descriptive findings the paper thus opens up the agglomeration discussion, and suggests that foci on such niches as those which are prevalent in Norway may function with geographical distribution patterns different from those prevalent within the current medical biotechnology focused literature.
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