Networks and the Development of the Irish Biotechnology Sector


O'Byrne, John (2013) Networks and the Development of the Irish Biotechnology Sector. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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Abstract

Biotechnology, an umbrella term describing combinations of engineering and scientific knowledge from an array of disciplines used to produce products and processes from living organisms, has been identified as a key sector for future economic developments among industrialised and industrialising nations as it blurs traditional boundaries between various industries. The Irish Government has introduced a series of initiatives to facilitate the development of an internationally competitive indigenous biotechnology sector since the late 1990s, yet no in-depth analysis of the sector relative to international sectoral characteristics, structures, or policy themes have informed their design or implementation. This thesis analyses the Irish sector in the context of global sectoral developments by studying the Post-Fordist organisational structure of the international sector, where biotechnology firms interact with various actors at different stages of the sectoral value chain in a variety of innovative networks determined by place specific actor and institution endowments that form local knowledge communities. Through qualitatively investigating the Irish sector's actors and collaborative network structure, the thesis analyses the implications of the nature and character of these elements for the sector's future sustainability and development, and appraises existing Government policies relating to sectoral developments. The thesis found that the on-going initiatives have facilitated significant advances, yet have not addressed the legacy of pre-initiative resource and skill capacity weaknesses, while the sectoral value chain is fragmented as actors have developed poor networking arrangements due to their conservative natures, and the relative absence of key sector actors, skills and resources. These issues demonstrate that a complex overarching policy framework is required so as to engender the long-term development of a regionally tailored, systems-based support ecosystem which addresses existing structural weaknesses, and which facilitates and drives entrepreneurial and innovative activities throughout the sector's value chain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: To contact the author directly, please email: jonobyrn@gmail.com
Keywords: Irish Biotechnology Sector;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Item ID: 4390
Depositing User: IR eTheses
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2013 13:21
URI:

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