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An Investigation into the Determinants of Innovation in the New Zealand Biotechnology Sector

This thesis synthesises theoretical and empirical knowledge from four strands of the innovation literature and then uses this knowledge to develop a framework for analysing the determinants of innovation. The framework is tested on one part of the New Zealand economy - the biotechnology sector - an area of rapid technological change where innovation is of particular significance. Theoretical approaches to the economics of innovation and technological change are reviewed with particular reference to the neo-classical, endogenous growth, evolutionary and systems of innovation approaches. Alternative methods of measuring innovation output and innovation rate are also discussed. This is followed by a series of hypotheses regarding the determinants of innovation and a review of their place in the innovation literature. The thesis includes a detailed description of the New Zealand biotechnology sector based on a re-analysis of the first comprehensive (1998/99) survey of biotechnology in New Zealand, data from an original (2002) survey conducted by the author, data from interviews with senior management in a sample of biotechnology firms and a detailed review of secondary sources. This material is used in chapter 5 to address the question 'Does New Zealand have an innovation system for biotechnology?' Count data regression models and data from the 1998/99 and 2002 surveys are then used to test the framework's innovation hypotheses. Hypothesis testing focuses on the effects of several determinants (firm size, firm type, conduct of R, involvement in modern biotechnology, specialisation, and alliances) on innovation output and the innovation rate. Results relating to the effect of demand, technological opportunity and appropriability are also reported. The analysis in this thesis confirms the importance of most of the innovation determinants included in the framework. It also provides a detailed examination of the biotechnology sector and empirical insights into the innovation behaviour of biotech enterprises in New Zealand. Prior to the analysis in this thesis, knowledge of the sector's parameters was very limited or absent.
Type of thesis
Marsh, D. (2004). An Investigation into the Determinants of Innovation in the New Zealand Biotechnology Sector (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2549
The University of Waikato
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