Locating Biotech Innovation: Places, Flows and Unruly Processes

This thesis begins by making two observations. First, that the regional economic landscapes in which we all live our daily lives, and which provide the basis for employment and prosperity, are constantly changing. Second, that one of the most popular strategies currently pursued by regions and nations for coping with such change, relies heavily on innovation within a few high-tech industries, biotech being one prominent example. The thesis is an investigation into the potential – and limits – of biotech-based development policies for creating renewal and economic growth at the local, regional or national scales. How does it really work when a team of biotech researchers develops a new invention? How can a small Swedish town manage to attract large foreign direct investments and stay competitive in the global biotech landscape? How is the performance of biotech knowledge workers affected by the places they live in, go to, leave, and make up? What impact can a biotech firm have on the local economic landscape in which it is located…


1. Introduction
1.1. Aim
1.2. Research questions
1.3. Structure of the thesis
1.4. Terms of reference
2. Tech-based economic development – regional expectations for biotech
2.1. Innovation
2.2. Perceived innovation effects as driving forces
2.3. Localized knowledge
Tacit knowledge
Culture and institutions
Communication and buzz
3. A tale of two spatialities – polycentric biotech and mono-territorial policy
3.1. ‘Swedish’ biotech
3.2. The polycentric spatiality of biotech
3.3. Swedish biotech-based policy
4. Methodological points of departure
4.1. Time-geography
4.2. Oral geography
4.3. Grounded theory
5. Summary and discussion of findings
5.1. Summary of the papers
5.2. Where is biotech?
5.3. What do we want from biotech?
5.4. How do we get at biotech?
6. Conclusions
6.1. Reach of the conclusions
6.2. Unruly innovation
6.3. Innovation or ‘vain notion’ for regional policy?
7. References

Author: Mattsson, Henrik

Source: Uppsala University Library

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