My research examines the development of R&D organisations in science-based industries. Focusing on the development of San Francisco biotechnology firms, I show how scholarly networks of academic founders shape the development of organisational capabilities of start-ups and how professors’ involvement in start-ups affects their academic initiatives on university campuses. Also, I study trade-offs firms face in sharing proprietary R&D in ‘open’ scientific knowledge exchange networks. I find that sharing more valuable R&D findings in open science communities positively affects R&D productivity. This effect is enhanced if firms also collaborate with academic labs, and is stronger for firms developing radical innovations.
Firms in knowledge-intensive sectors increasingly participate in open science and prominent firms have developed into core hubs for scientific knowledge exchange. The biotechnology firm Genentech published 5,038 articles, of which 249 in Science or Nature. My work provides novel insights into interdependencies between firms’ proprietary and academic research activities. I presented my work as a (keynote-) speaker at international conferences bringing together managers, policy makers, academic leaders, and other stakeholders in the life sciences. My work also formed the impetus for an event I recently organised with NESTA that brought together leaders from the UK biopharma sector.
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