International mega-trends and growth prospects of the Finnish biotechnology industry: Recent economic research and policy implications

Journal of Commercial Biotechnology,
Vol 11, No 2, s. 134-145
Raine Hermans, Martti Kulvik,
Pekka Ylä-Anttila (2005)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to describe recent economic growth forecasts of the Finnish biotechnology industry and provide analysis of the international and industry-specific factors behind these forecasts.

The new economic geography of the European regions suggests that spatial agglomeration of economic activities will be strengthened internationally if European integration deepens. In addition to that, the Finnish pharmaceutical industry has enjoyed high regulatory protection and it has achieved similar price mark-ups during the 1970s-1990s to its counterpart in the USA. According to the analysis of small and medium-sized Finnish biotechnology companies, it seems that the most promising biotechnology companies have a well-balanced combination of intellectual capital. Despite expectations of rapid growth, it will take decades rather than years for the biotechnology industry to catch up with the three industrial pillars, the forestry, machinery and electronics industries. To fulfil the expectations, there is a need to build collaboration and financing networks between the biotechnology industry and traditional industries, such as forestry, electronics and pharmaceuticals. Most of the current Finnish biotechnology companies are related to healthcare activities. The Finnish biotechnology industry could offer solutions to the cost crisis in healthcare while at the same time spurring development of an internationally competitive industrial cluster.

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