Innovation and commercialisation in the stem cell industries in Australia: State strategies and other opportunities to build a competitive position in the global stem cell economy
Recent research in the social studies of stem cell science has demonstrated that there is (a) a significant global economy emerging around stem cell science, and (b) that individual states are competing fiercely in an effort to obtain leadership in this global stem cell economy. Over the last several years, the governments of the United Kingdom, China, India, Canada, Singapore and Australia (among others), have been attempting to leverage the process of innovation in stem cell science by implementing a variety of strategies including, but not limited to: dedicated funding programmes, the introduction of specific licensing systems, the implementation of new regulations for human cell-based material, emulating US-based venture capital, and encouraging entrepreneurship and spin-off developments. What remains to be seen though, is how effective such attempts actually will be in encouraging the commercial development of nationally oriented stem cell industries. Given that the relationship between innovation and commercialisation is unique to national and regional contexts, as well as unique to specific industries, this article discusses the specific strategies adopted in developing the stem cell industries in Australia and highlights some of the pros and cons with a government interventionist approach to developing global economic advantage from national and regional innovation.
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