Small Business Economics

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 287–303

Growth Dynamics in the Biomedical/Biotechnology System


  • Dilek Çetindamar
    • Graduate School of ManagementSabanci University Tuzla
  • Jens Laage-Hellman
    • Department of Industrial MarketingChalmers University of Technology

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022959109782

Cite this article as:
Çetindamar, D. & Laage-Hellman, J. Small Business Economics (2003) 20: 287. doi:10.1023/A:1022959109782


This article aims to understand the dynamics of growth in the biomedical/biotechnology system that consists of a variety of actors ranging from universities, medical supplies firms, and drug research firms, to clinical service suppliers. Based on a comparative study made in Ohio and in Sweden, we have analyzed three main factors: technology competencies, technology transfer, and networking capabilities. Our findings show a set of differences that can be grouped into two categories, viz. management and agglomeration externalities. Differences in management appear at three points: the resources allocated to technological competence development, managerial skills in the technology transfer phase, and the use of technology councils. Ohio seems to offer a better environment for starting up new firms and enabling these firms to successfully commercialize their technological assets. The agglomeration externalities that make a difference between the two regions might be grouped into two categories: increasing returns arising from network externalities and the advantages of networking with a variety of supporting organizations in the system.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003