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The Reconfiguration of a Latecomer Innovation System

Governing Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Innovation in South Korea

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Dirk Johann

The book examines the evolving governance of pharmaceutical biotechnology in South Korea in order to derive conclusions about the dynamics of a latecomer system transition. Based on an analysis of innovation activities in the biomedical sector, which is complemented by expert interviews, the research contends that the Korean post-developmental state should be geared towards coordinating the interplay of technologies, modes of organization and institutions. An integrative framework is developed to describe system change as a co-evolutionary process in which the national and sectoral dimensions intersect. The case shows that the shaping of an environment in which innovation systems can develop sectoral transformative capacity is a central aspect of latecomer innovation governance.

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5 Evolving structures and dynamics of Korea’s innovation system for biotechnology

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This chapter provides an analysis o f the institutional conditions and dynamics that shape the evolution o f the Korean sectoral pathway o f biotechnology development from a systems perspective. While the building o f a sectoral system is dependent on the configuration o f the national institutional framework to structure the effective management o f stocks and flows o f knowledge, the analysis centres upon the coordinative role o f the state in promoting sectoral innovation capabilities in biotechnology as well as on the evolving differentiation o f functions o f public and private actors engaged in the inherently uncertain environment o f biotechnology innovation and technology commercialisation. The chapter is divided in three parts. The first part starts with a brief historical review o f Korean biotechnology policies, focusing on the evolution of early frameworks to promote the emerging bioindustry and state-led initiatives to involve the private sector in collaborative biotechnology-related R&D activities. Actors and structures in policymaking and programme management are presented and the evolving division o f labour within the operating structure of the Korean national system o f biotechnology promotion is analysed. The second part discusses the framework conditions affecting the rate and direction of innovation in biotechnology. The recent reform o f the regulatory regime for intellectual property protection in public research organisations is outlined, the status o f bio-safety and bioethics-related laws and regulations is discussed, and the key issues o f the reform o f health policy regulations are presented. To...

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