1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · Research

Regional Innovation Policy and the Biotechnology Industry

Alessandro Rosiello

Start date



Over the past decades, the use of cellular and molecular processes to develop new technologies, products and services has resulted applications in a number of industries. While the structure of these industries is changing, expectations for economic growth remain strong, with major implications for regional innovation policy (RIP). At the same time, technological change and its influence on the evolution of the knowledge-based economy are increasingly understood as a “nonlinear” and nested system of feedback loops between actors engaged in complementary activities of research, development and commercialisation.

In this context, the competitiveness of regions seems increasingly related to the capability to generate new ideas and use them to innovate. In a globalised and competitive world capability endowments have to be continuously renewed, raising demands for the endorsement of interactive learning, networking, foresighting, and the mobilisation of complementary knowledges to respond to new challenges and opportunities.

As result, new policies are needed to promote and/or support the emergence and growth of bio-clusters in different phases of the industry life cycle. Comparing different experiences with the implementation of regional innovation policies can help to rethink existing frameworks and develop new and more effective policy models. This involves not only the identification of bottlenecks that hinder the smooth functioning of regional systems, but also the planning of policies that deal with a variety of cross-cutting issues.

Consequently, this project focuses on the advent of “molecular biology” and its implication for firms’ strategy, industrial clustering and regional development.


  • to unfold the role played by key economic and non-economic drivers in the development of regional innovation systems
  • explain how this role evolves in the course of the industry life cycle
  • explain the importance of global links and networks, scientific and technological trajectories, and how the behaviour of various agents is affected by the characteristics of regional institutions and policy frameworks
  • compare the results of policy programmes implemented in a number of regions
  • propose and debate new ideas for developing new and more effective innovation policies in life sciences