Curran, Declan and Van Egeraat, Chris and O’Gorman, Colm
New Entrants and Inherited
Competence: The Evolution of the
Irish Biotech Sector (NIRSA) Working Paper Series No. 66.
NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
In this paper we use Klepper's (2008) theory of the evolution of industrial concentrations to study the role
of entrepreneurial activity in the evolution of the Irish biotechnology sector. Specifically, we study the
characteristics of new entrants, and the relationships between new entrants and existing private firms and
higher education institutes. Two distinct evolutionary processes involving, on the one hand, the university
spin-offs and on the other hand private sector spin-offs are observed to have shaped the Irish biotech
industry's development. We also add to Klepper's (2008) theory by relating the theoretical concept of
inherited company traits to a different typology of spin-offs – university spin-offs versus private sector
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