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Knowledge markets or knowledge spillovers in Canadian Human Health Biotechnology. Johanne Queenton UQAM, Canada Research Chair in MOT ISRN 6 th Annual Meeting, Vancouver May 15, 2004. Knowledge economy.

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knowledge markets or knowledge spillovers in canadian human health biotechnology

Knowledge markets or knowledge spillovers in Canadian Human Health Biotechnology

Johanne Queenton

UQAM, Canada Research Chair in MOT

ISRN 6th Annual Meeting, Vancouver

May 15, 2004

knowledge economy
Knowledge economy

Access to relations with strong intensity of knowledge (Foray, 2000) = Competitive advantage

Innovation sources : Interactions between firm scientists, universities and public institutions (Powell, 1996).

Key feature: Interdependence in the development of technological innovations

knowledge spillovers
Knowledge Spillovers

Study of two forms:

  • Knowledge production function – codified forms of knowledge

2. Movement of people: Interactions are more geographically delimited when a bioscientist is really involved in the creation of a SBFs (Audretsch & Stephan, 1996)

localised knowledge spillovers
Localised Knowledge Spillovers

« Knowledge spillovers geographically delimited allowing near important knowledge sources to introduce more rapidly innovations than firms located elsewhere » (Breschi & Lissoni, 2001).

knowledge spillovers vs knowledge markets
Knowledge spillovers vs knowledge markets

« Pure knowledge externalities do not applied in biotechnology, it is more and more market and non-market transactions » (Zucker et al., 1998).

« More and more contractual and proprietary links in competitive markets » (Zucker et al., 1998)

4 observations
4 observations
  • Geographical proximity researchers networks/SBFs
  • + Knowledge markets, - pure knowledge spillovers
  • Interest for knowledge transfer role of « Star Scientists »
  • Study of their SBFs relations not very elaborated
two questions
Two questions
  • Types of relationships between bioscientists and SBFs
  • Geographical proximity of bioscientists and SBFs
  • Determination of the nature of innovation activities in Canadian biotechnology agglomerations –

Specific types of links of bioscientists with SBFs

  • 430 Canadian researchers (inventors, co-inventors & authors, co-authors of scientific publications and discoveries of genetic sequences) - 2 typologies
  • 151 Canadian SBFs having patents and patent citations
data collection
Data Collection
  • Canadian SBFs assignees patents (USPTO, CIPO, EPO) inventory and identification of inventors and co-inventors
  • Inventors and co-inventors affiliation (SBFs, PRIs, or universities)
  • Genetic sequences discoveries inventory (1990-2002, GenBank)
  • Bio-scientists publications enumeration (SCI, MedLine, Derwent Biotechnology Abstracts)
data collection1
Data Collection

Database on Canadian SBFs in human health: Sampling with assignees patents

Goal: Relate knowledge flows within innovation systems and biotechnology clusters

Sources: Canadian Biotech. Directory 2001,2002, B2B Industry Guide - Contact Canada, Canadian Biotech. Firms Annual Reports, SBFs Web Sites, Strategis – Industry Canada, Statistics Canada

links of bio scientists with canadian sbfs
Links of bio-scientists with Canadian SBFs

3 types of involved researchers in economic development of biotechnology:

  • Scientist with a simple affiliation to a SBFs (member of the board);
  • Connected scientist: Linked to a SBF by invention or co-invention of a patent ;
  • Scientist with double affiliations: affiliated to a SBF and to a university or a PRI

Type of externality in biotechnology: + than just knowledge spillovers , + and + market and non-market transactions

Among the studied population:

  • 54% of Canadian bioscientists with patents or publications are linked to SBFs;
  • 37% are affiliated to SBFs (direction, founders);
  • 9% wear two hats (direction & university professors)


  • Agglomeration phenomenon around great urban areas
  • Importance of geographical proximity of affiliated and linked Bio-scientists
  • Affiliation phenomenon = measure of relational intensity researchers/SBFs

Measures of 2 I (innovation & interdependence)

Innovation: Canadian SBFs Patents

Interdependence: interaction of scientific & technological development, entrepreneurship – central in biotechnology


In summary,

Involved stakeholders - Connections

Contractactual Relationships or proprietary links

Challenges in competitive markets

future research
Future research
  • Superstars & Stars affiliation dynamic in other countries
  • Study of the percentage of academic Superstars & Stars having patents and no links with Canadian SBFs

Research: Definition of researchers categories

Star Scientists Typology Bio-Scientists Typology