The Turkish Biotechnology System: Functioning or Malfunctioning?

The Turkish Biotechnology System: Functioning or Malfunctioning?

Dilek Cetindamar (Sabanci University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1040-6.ch009
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This chapter empirically examines biotechnology innovation system in order to present the concerns of developing countries. Even though it is not possible to create standard prescriptions across countries, this paper aims to develop a solid understanding of how biotechnology and institutions co-evolve that might shed light to innovation policy issues for biotechnology across developing countries. The immediate goal is the Turkish policy makers but it will surely have policy implications for developing countries in general. Through mapping innovation processes/functions over time, it is possible to develop insights of the dynamics of innovation systems. This mapping is carried out for the Turkish biotechnology system, and the findings are summarized.
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Due to the difficulty of reaching public data on technology based firms in Turkey, direct data collection through interviews is utilized. The starting point in identifying Turkish biotech firms was two previous biotechnology studies conducted in Turkey (Basaga & Cetindamar, 2000 and 2006). This study updates these former studies which identified 50 and 90 biotechnology-related firms, respectively. The update is carried out in 2010 by searching associations and Internet addresses of firms and newspapers. For example, Biotechnology Association has a database of biotechnology firms, but some of the firms in the list are not directly involved in biotech activities. Therefore, after a detailed analysis of each firm one-by-one, an updated list was formed involving 140 firms. The final list dropped to 120 when we called firms to get appointment for interviews and found that 20 of them went into bankruptcy.

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