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home > ebr > spring 2004 > science, innovation and technology transfer - a new model for knowledge acquisition by technology-based businesses in london
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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Science, Innovation and Technology Transfer - A New Model for Knowledge Acquisition by Technology-Based Businesses in London

All technology-based businesses, and perhaps particularly those in the life science sector, rely on access to innovation to provide new products and/or services. Competitive advantage in an increasingly knowledge-driven and technology-intensive world relies on not only accessing innovation but recognising relevant new discoveries when they appear, benchmarking them adequately in terms of commercial potential, and fully investing development needs and timeframes. Only from such an informed view can technology companies truly realise their potential and compete effectively for new or expanding market share.

Ongoing access to innovation, coupled with a strategy-enabling resolution of short-term technology needs, as well as long-term crystal ball gazing, is therefore a critical success factor for the technology-based business. In recent years the pharmaceutical industry has suffered from a lack of innovation, resulting in not enough pipeline products to meet existing revenue shortfalls from products coming off-patent - typically a several years and multi-million dollar horizon.

Before getting into existing and alternative mechanisms of innovative knowledge acquisition by companies, it is important to look at what we know of the context. The realisation that technological progress is a vital source of economic growth, and that R&D is a vital source of technological progress, is a well-understood principle of macroeconomic thinking. However, true understanding of the links between industries accessing innovation and multi-factor productivity growth (economic growth not associated with capital and labour inputs) is not well-researched despite being the current focus of much government policy-making (1).


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By Dr Helen Abbott, Technology Consultant at London Technology Network and Editor of EBR
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Dr Helen Abbott
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