Small firm growth in the Australian biotechnology industry: a study of obstacles to the commercialisation of Australian biotechnology research
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:47 authored by Veronica Bondarew
Australia has a strong record of medical science research. Of the country's seven Nobel Prize winners, six have been within the bioscience sector. But Australia has been struggling to produce an FDA-approved blockbuster drug. The high level of research output in biotechnology is inconsistent with the low level of commercialisation of products resulting from the research.-- What distinguishes the successful companies in the Australian biotechnology industry? In particular, what obstacles are encountered by Australian scientists attempting to commercialise their inventions and are these obstacles spicific to the Australian context? Biotechnology impacts on an extraordinary range of industries, particularly in the health care sector, and is one of the major drivers of sustainable economic growth in the 21st century. The contrast between the Australian biotechnology industry's potential and achievements inhibits its ability to contribute to national wealth. This study investigates the difficulties encountered by Australian biotechnology firms in their attempts to commercialise their research.-- Garnsey's (1998) small firm growth model, based on engineering firms with in-house production, has been used to identify obstacles to biotechnology innovation and problems encountered in commercialising the research before the firm has been established. The research question asks to what extent the model can assist in understanding the obstacles that impede the growth of Australian biotechnology firms.-- Taking a qualitative approach and using an integrated and coherent case study methodology, the research identifies major obstacles to the growth of five firms through three clearly identifiable phases. Findings from the comparative case study analysis show that the firms' growth patterns generally conform to the model, but with major deviations due to specific differences between the engineering and biotechnology industries, Although biotechnology firms worldwide face similar obstacles to their growth, Australian firms encounter additional problems that seriously impede potential commercialisation of their biotechnology research.