UCL School of Management

Research project

Managing R&D in science-based industries


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.

Selected publications

JONG, S. (2011). Commercializing a disruptive technology. Nature Biotechnology, 29 (8), 685-688. doi:10.1038/bioe.2011.6 [link]
Massaro, S., & Jong, S. (2011). Managing knowledge-intensive work: A trust-based model. Proceedings of the Seventieth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2011.65869784 [link]
Jong, S. (2009). The development of Munich and Cambridge therapeutic biotech firms: A case study of institutional adaptation. In C. Crouch, H. Voelzkow (Eds.), Innovation in Local Economies: Germany in Comparative Context (pp. 121-138). Oxford University Press, USA.
Jong, S., & Slavova, K. (2014). When publications lead to products: The open science conundrum in new product development. Research Policy, 43 (4), 645-654. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.12.009 [link]
Jong, S., & Marston, L. (2012). After the life sciences strategy: managing science-based R&D collaborations. London, UK: UCL/NESTA.
Wong, S. C. K., Sasportas, L. S., Richardson, K., Gordon, B. R., Jayatunga, M. K. P., Shalizi, A., . . . Perez, D. A. (2015). Keys to the kingdom. NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, 33 (3), 232-236.

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page

Last updated Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Research groups

Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Research areas

Management science; Organization theory; Strategic management

Research topics

Absorptive capacity; Business model innovation; Collaboration; Corporate strategy; Dynamic capabilities; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Inter-organizational networks; Interdisciplinarity; Management of innovation; Management of science; Management of technology; Performance; R&D management