Technological Convergence in the Life-Science Sector and Its Impact on Research, Business and R&D Policies
Technological convergence in the life-science industry brings forth new technologies, increases product complexity and drives researchers and companies to enter into collaborative R&D arrangements or production activities. However, rapid advances in the life-science and its applications are forcing transformation of the market conditions and public R&D policies. The new market conditions, require companies to reorient and expand their business model strategies towards more integrated and complex systems of vertical and horizontal partnerships, both with academia, scientific institutions, contract researchers and manufacturing companies. The following paper overviews the issues around convergence in the life-science industry, including its drivers and relationship to the R&D and knowledge networks, business models and innovation supporting policies. The aim of the study is to provide the analysis of the impact of technological convergence in the life-science industry on market conditions, formation of knowledge networks and government R&D policies. The paper applies quantitative and qualitative research methods. The first one refers to the critical review of the subject literature in order to identify current trends and drivers behind in the life science industry; the second one applies qualitative study and the direct observation, in order to determine to which extend these trends are related to the technological convergence and what is their impact on business models, university R&D and knowledge networks. The paper ends with the conclusions and policy suggestions relative to the business and public policy sectors to further unlock the research and business potential within the life-science sector and university-based innovation ecosystems. (original abstract)
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